In the place in Japan where I am from, dried baby sardines are called ‘Chirimenjako’ and those tiny fish are used for many dishes. One of my favourites is ‘Tsukudani’. ‘Tsukudani’ is commonly small fish, shellfish or seaweed cooked in Mirin, Sugar and Soy Sauce to preserve the ingredients.


4 Servings


Chirimenjako (Dried Baby Sardines) 1 cup *use small dried sardines
Mirin 2 to 3 tablespoons
Sugar 2 tablespoons
Soy Sauce 2 tablespoons *you might need more or less
Fresh Ginger 1 or 2 small pieces *sliced into thin strips
Toasted Sesame Seeds 1 tablespoon

  1. Taste the dried sardines you are going to use. If very salty, you need to remove salt by pouring boiling water over them first.
  2. Cook Mirin, Sugar, Soy Sauce and Ginger in a saucepan over medium to low heat. When it started bubbling, add the fish.
  3. It is easy to burn, so carefully cook constantly mixing until the sauce is thickened. Add Sesame seeds and combine all well.