Katsuo-Bushi, or dried Bonito shavings, is one of the principal ingredients for dashi, the basic stock of Japanese cuisine. As well as steeping the bonito flakes in water for dashi, they can also be used as a flavorful garnish for savory preperations. To make dried bonito, the fish are filleted and cut lengthwise into quarters. After being steamed, sun-dried, and wood-smoked several times until they are thoroughly dried, the fillets are placed outdoors on racks for about three months to ferment. This ancient method uses natural fermentation to increase bonito's nutritional value.