Dried small fish: Niboshi
These are called niboshi, dried small fish and are roughly the same size as one's forefinger.
These are used for preparing stock, umami, to make miso soup, udon noodle or some Japanese foods.
Three major dried foods are used for extracting the essence of umami:
1. Boiled and dried bonito shaving, called katuobushi, is used mainly around Tokyo.
2. Dried kelp is used around Kyoto and Osaka.
3. And these niboshi is used in western Japan.
Of these foods, I like this niboshi because I had been in western Japan.