Sardine stewed with Umeboshi (Japanese pickled plum)
Photographed by TAKAHIRO IMASHIMIZU
Calorie count is for full recipe
- 10 sardine (mid-sized) (500 g)
- 3 umeboshi (pickled plum, pit removed)
- 1 10 cm square kombu kelp
- 30 g ginger (cut into fine strips)
- 200 ml rice vinegar
- 150 ml sake
- 150 ml soy sauce
- 65 ml mirin
Make sure to rehydrate the kombu in water before cooking. It should be large enough to cover the bottom of the pot. You can use the kombu left after making dashi.
With your fingernails, scrape the scales off the sardines. Wash the fish thoroughly in water.
Cut off the heads and tails and chop the fish into 3 to 4 pieces.
Add 1 teaspoon of salt to 400 ml of water to prepare a salt water solution, and soak the fish for 20 minutes. Press each piece with a pair of cooking chopsticks to remove the guts. Wash throughly in water and drain.
Soaking the fish in salt water firms the meat and makes it easy to remove the guts. It also keeps the skin from tearing.
Make 2 or 3 vertical incisions in the kombu kelp and cover the bottom of a 21 cm pot. Sprinkle half the shredded ginger over the kombu and place the sardines on top. Sprinkle the remaining ginger.
The kombu kelp prevents the sardines from sticking to the pot.
Add the rice vinegar and 200 ml of water, cover with a paper drop lid and heat. When it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 30 minutes. Skim off the surface fat.
If the simmering liquid becomes too thick, dilute with an even ratio of rice vinegar and water.
Add the[A] ingredients, tear the umeboshi and add to the pot. Cover with the paper drop lid and simmer for another 30 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the sardines to cool in the liquid and absorb the flavor.
Sprinkling the sardines with some toasted poppy seed adds a nice crunch and touch of refinement.