Do you know Sanshō? It is often called Sanshō Pepper OR Japanese Pepper. Ground Sanshō peppercorns are available from many Asian grocery stores. I have never used Sanshō peppercorns for cooking. To me, it is the spice to sprinkle over grilled eel and I haven’t eaten eel for decades.
The other day my sister gave me ground Sanshō peppercorns and I started using it. I have realised that it goes so well with many things. It has a unique citrus fragrance and mild spiciness, and you can use it like you use ground Pepper. Today I made this rice bowl using a can of Sardines, and added a generous amount of ground Sanshō. It was a quick, easy and cheap dish, and it was absolutely delicious.


1 Serving


1 can (110g) Sardines *I used Sardines in Springwater, drained
1/2 teaspoon grated Ginger
1 large Spring Onion *sliced diagonally
1 serving warm Cooked Rice
Toasted Sesame Seeds
Ground Sanshō *OR Ground Chilli, Pepper, etc.

1/2 tablespoon Sugar
1 tablespoon Sake (Rice Wine)
1 tablespoon Mirin *can be substituted with 1 tablespoon Sake & 1 teaspoon Sugar
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce

  1. Place all the Sauce ingredients in a small frying pan or saucepan, add grated Ginger and Spring Onion, and bring to the boil over medium heat.
  2. Add drained Sardines, and simmer until the sauce thickens. It won’t take long at all.
  3. Half fill a bowl with warm Cooked Rice and cover it with the Sardine mixture. Sprinkle with some Toasted Sesame Seeds and Ground Sanshō (OR Ground Chilli OR Pepper, etc.), and enjoy.