Bonito is a smaller tuna fish family member, with oily flesh.
It lives in the Pacific and in the Atlantic, but not in the Mediterranean Sea. It eats squid, and smaller fish such as anchovies, herring, sardines, and smaller skipjack.
The fish has a dark blue back, and a silvery belly with 4 to 6 dark stripes on it.
They tend to live in schools that stay at the surface during the day, and go deeper at night.
Bonito grow fast. They will be 18 inches (46) long when 1 year old. A fish 18 ½ inches (47 cm) long will weigh 5 ½ pounds (2 ½ kg.) A fish 22 inches (55 cm) long will weigh 13 pounds (6 kg.)
Bonito that are caught are normally 6 to 8 pounds (2 ¾ to 3 ½ kg), but they can grow up to 40 pounds (18 kg.)
The fish can live up to 7 years.
Bonito Tuna have dark flesh, and because of this, some don’t consider it visually appealing. To North American tastes, the meat is better tasting after it has been processed and canned than when it is fresh.
The Japanese don’t consider Bonito good enough for sushi. They use it a lot as a garnish instead. They dry the flesh into very hard, dried blocks, and then do shavings called Bonito Tuna Flakes from it.
The Japanese do, though, use fresh Bonito to make a sashimi-style dish called Tataki. Cubes of the fish are put on skewers, and seared over a high heat. The fish is served seared on the outside, raw inside.
Doesn’t freeze well.
Called “aku” in Hawaii.