Thursday, June 16, 2016

Pan-Fried Japanese Sardines 煎沙丁鱼

The problem about shopping in the Asian supermarket be it Indian, Japanese, Korean is the possibility of not being able to decipher (or read) what is on the package unless you are proficient in multi-languages, meaning able to read Japanese or Korean, for example.

I can't, and find myself borrowing help from the translated-to-English package label/sticker typically stuck on one corner of the package; however that translation description can never be as exact as what is on the original "foreign-language" package.

I may have made a blunder recently. The sardines I bought from the Japanese supermarket were not what I expected it to be. They were overly salty. The package may have said "salted sardines" but I did not know. At the point of purchase, I went along with gut feeling that they are standard sardines, albeit the frozen version. Both being imported frozen fish products, I prefer yellow croaker (imported from Korea) to this sardine variety from Japan).

If not fresh (the best!), there is always frozen or canned sardines e.g. Brisling Sardines to depend on for easy sardine recipes such as Oven-Cooked Sardines and Onion-Tomato Sardines.

Pan-Fried Japanese Sardines (Ma Iwashi)
Sear each side of frozen dried sardines for about 5 minutes. To cut the saltiness, squeeze lemon over the fish or serve a vinegar dip by the side.

Cooking and preparation tips to reduce "fishy" smell/taste: Cut a slit on the fish belly, and remove the guts. Also remove the head of the fish. After removing the head and guts, quickly rinse the fish in cold salted water, especially in the belly/gut area.

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