August 10, 2010

Iwashi Shoyuyaki: Sardines in soy sauce

I adore sardines, those unbelievable tasty, full of omega-3's, take-me-back-to-the -Mediterranean fish that I've cooked (and blogged about) quite a few times before: Finnish way with vodka, in a casserole as a substitute to Baltic Herring, I've stuffed them with parmesan and I've also crispy fried them with haloumi. That said I have probably well and truly proved my love for sardines, but my sardine recipe collection would not be complete without the Japanese version.

This recipe is from one of my favourite Japanese blogs Kyoto Foodie.

Iwashi Shoyuyaki (Sardines sauteed in soy sauce)

8 sardines, cleaned & butterflied (for excellent step-by-step instructions on how to clean sardines, see this page)*
a thumb size piece of ginger, chopped
4 tbs cooking sake
1 tbs mirin
2 tbs soy sauce

olive oil for frying
cooked brown rice, to serve

*I usually buy sardines frozen, but if you can, use fresh fish.

Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the sardines and the ginger. Saute for a few minutes. Turn the sardines over and continue on the other side. Add sake, mirin and soy sauce and let simmer for a further few minutes until the sauce slightly thickens and the fish has cooked through. Serve the fish on a bed of brown rice with the sauce and the ginger.

Defrosted sardines

The sardines after some TLC

Sautee the sardines with the ginger

Serve with brown rice


  1. You know, I love sardines but have never cooked with them. If they come frozen, then I will seek them out - your recipe looks so simple yet tasty.

  2. Wow how simple - the sardines have such a lovely strong flavour of their own I guess you don't have to do anything too complicated with them - this looks so fresh and tasty - lovely photos

  3. Maria, these look delicious. I usually don't go for sardines but I think these would definitely change my mind! :D

  4. Only recently tried sardines and thought they were quite tasty, I don't count the canned variety my parents fed me in my younger years as an experience.

  5. I've heard sardines are quite hard to fillet due to their small size and fine bones - how long did it take you for this lot?

  6. I have yet to cook with sardines. I keep meaning to, but it just hasn't happened yet.

    I like the simplicity of this recipe and I think you've motivated me to finally try them.

    btw...I can't believe those fish in your photo are defrosted sardines, they look so fresh!

  7. I love sardines, they tend to have a awesome flavor. And the palette looks very inviting.

  8. I love the shot of the whole fish! your making me scrounge around for all my japanese cookbooks. I think another cookbook re-arranging is in order.

  9. yum! sardines have such a strong flavour that it's gotta be cooked right. I'm sure you've done it perfectly!!! I just eat the ones from the can doused in tomato sauce hehehe :)

  10. Very healthy and delicious!




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