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The fish's name comes from the Spanish bonito 'pretty'.[2][3] An older theory suggests that it comes from an Arabic word bainīth, but that may have been derived from Spanish as well.[4]


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Pacific and Atlantic bonito meat has a firm texture and a darkish color. The bonito has a moderate fat content. The meat of young or small bonito can be of light color, close to that of skipjack tuna, and is sometimes used as a cheap substitute for skipjack, especially for canning purposes, and occasionally in the production of cheap varieties of katsuobushi that are sold as bonito flakes. [5] Bonito may not, however, be marketed as tuna in all countries. The Atlantic bonito is also found in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, where it is a popular food fish, eaten grilled, pickled (lakerda), or baked.[6][7]

bonito (feminine bonita, masculine plural bonitos, feminine plural bonitas, comparable, comparative mais bonito, superlative o mais bonito or bonitíssimo, diminutive bonitinho, augmentative bonitão)

Bonito refers to a group of medium-sized predatory fish belonging to the same family as tuna and mackerel. There are four genera of bonito, comprised of a total of eight species. The Pacific bonitos (Sarda chiliensis chiliensis, S. c. lineolata) and the Atlantic bonito (S. sarda) are perhaps the most commonly known species. Other species in this genera include the striped bonito (S. orientalis) and the Australian bonito (S. australis). Additionally, the dogtooth tuna (Gymnosarda unicolor), plain bonito (Orcynopsis unicolor), and the leaping bonito (Cybiosarda elegans) are each the only species in their respective genera.

All species of bonito have a similar appearance, with a torpedo-shaped body and a large caudal or tail fin. Some species such as the Pacific bonito closely resembles the skipjack tuna, which itself is sometimes referred to as the oceanic bonito. They grow to a similar size of around 20 pounds and about 40 inches long. The smallest species of bonito is the leaping bonito, which grows to around 20 inches long and weighs about 5 pounds. In contrast, the dogtooth tuna is the largest of all members of the bonito Tribe, weighing as much as 250 pounds and growing as long as 100 inches.

In general, bonito and other members of the family Scombridae inhabit the nearshore and offshore areas and spend most of their time relatively near the surface. Young individuals of most species may spend most of their time in shallow reef environments whereas older individuals may venture just offshore to nearby but deeper habitats. Like other tuna species, they do often dive to impressive depths. This behavior tends to occur in a diurnal pattern, where they will move deeper during the day and closer to the surface after sundown. This likely occurs as they pursue prey such as squid which are also known for this same behavior.

Like their close relatives, tuna, bonito are muscular and streamlined predators. They will feed on a variety of prey, primarily smaller fish, by ambushing schools or shoals as well as lone individuals when possible. They will also eat various other species such as pelagic crustaceans and cephalopods such as squid.

In turn, all species of bonito are subject to predation by other marine predators. Although they are fast, they are not always able to outswim other predators such as larger tuna and billfish as well as toothed whales including dolphins and orca. Sharks such as the mako shark, blue shark, great white shark, and more will also hunt bonito.

Most species of bonito spawn throughout the year, with some seasonality observed with variation between species and populations, particularly in subtropical and temperate regions. For example, Pacific bonito are known to spawn between January and May while Atlantic bonito generally spawn during the northern hemisphere summer, from June-September. Nearer the equator, bonito and other similar fish species generally spawn year-round.

Bonito are broadcast spawners, with both species releasing their gametes (eggs and sperm) into the water column in synchrony where external fertilization occurs. The embryo will then float with the plankton community for several days before developing into a larval fish and, eventually, a juvenile bonito, capable of hunting prey of its own. Most individuals are sexually mature within 2 years and live for roughly 8-12 years, depending on the species.

Although some populations face threats from pollution and overfishing, most bonito stocks remain relatively healthy. As a result, they are listed as Least Concern by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Although not as well known as the closely-related tuna, bonito form an important part of the food chain around the world and are a popular commercial and sport fishery target as well. With much in common with their larger cousins, bonitos are equally as impressive and fascinating as tuna, with many fun facts to explore.

The timing of spawning events varies between species as well as between populations of the same species found in different temperature regimes. In most cases, bonito become sexually mature around the age of two, although this also remains somewhat dependent on temperature and other conditions.

Older bonito are known to become ready to spawn earlier in the season than younger fish, while fecundity increases with size as well. It is estimated that a roughly five-pound female bonito may produce approximately 500,000 eggs within one spawning season. These eggs are produced in batches and released accordingly once ready.

This combination of bonito flakes and kombu makes the most popular and flavorful all-purpose dashi. The idea is to extract the flavors by steeping the ingredients for the first round of dashi, which is called ichiban dashi, or "number 1 dashi." The amount of bonito flakes I use for this recipe depends on how I will use the dashi. For everyday dashi, I make a medium-strength dashi using 3 cups (20 g) bonito flakes. When I make noodle soups, I want a stronger dashi, so I use 4 cups (30 g) bonito flakes. This dashi is enjoyed for its fragrance and is so flavorful on its own that you can drink it straight, like soup.

Combine the water and kombu in a medium saucepan. Heat over low heat until bubbles begin to form around the kombu, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the piece of kombu before the water comes to a boil. Bring the water to a boil, turn off the heat. Add the bonito flakes. Let stand for 2 minutes, without stirring, to steep the bonito flakes.

To strain the dashi, pour the liquid through a fine-mesh sieve or a sieve lined with cheesecloth or a paper towel. Do not press the bonito flakes while straining, as it will cloud the dashi. Use immediately, or cool completely and refrigerate for up to 4 or 5 days or freeze up to 1 month.

Note: You can reuse the bonito flakes and kombu to make one more pot of dashi. Add the bonito and kombu to 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes until the volume is reduced by half.

All natural and nutritious, katsuobushi (bonito flakes) is dried, smoked, and dried skipjack tuna in shaved form. Not only is this the main ingredient for dashi (Japanese soup stock), which is an essential element of traditional Japanese cuisine, but it is also used extensively as additional flavoring and a stylish topping. Low fat, low sodium, high protein. Good for salads, takoyaki, tofu, and more!

In order to elucidate the mechanism of the antihypertensive action of dried bonito (katsuobushi), we compared the effects of dried bonito extracts with those of captopril, an angiotensin I-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, on aorta preparations isolated from rats. Dried bonito extracts (3 x 10(-4) to 3 x 10(-3) g/ml) more potently relaxed contractions induced by norepinephrine (10(-7) M) than contractions induced by KCl (55.9 mM). Dried bonito extracts (3 x 10(-3) g/ml) slightly inhibited 10(-7) M angiotensin I-induced contractions. In contrast, captopril (10(-8) to 10(-7) M) did not affect 10(-7) M norepinephrine- or 55.9 mM KCl-induced contractions, but a higher concentration of captopril (10(-6) M) very slightly relaxed it. Captopril (10(-8) to 10(-6) M) markedly inhibited 10(-7) M angiotensin I-induced contractions in a concentration-dependent manner. These results suggest that antihypertensive mechanism of action induced by dried bonito involves direct action on vascular smooth muscle in addition to ACE-inhibitory activity. 041b061a72

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