Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Teriyaki sardines

I can't wait for summer to arrive so I can try out these on the barbecue - something tells me they'll be even better with a little smoky charring.

This is a pretty flexible teriyaki sauce which can be used for a whole range of fish, and this would work well with salmon, halibut, or herrings too.  I'll be testing out a vegan version using cotton tofu, the roughly textured type, then slicing and adding it to stir fries or perhaps a warm noodle salad.

Or like here, just serve with steamed greens and a mound of fragrant jasmine rice.

Serves 2

6 small whole sardines
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp mirin
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
4 tsp golden caster sugar
ground black pepper

1) I like to bone the sardines before cooking to make them easier to eat but you can cook them whole instead.  To bone, scale the fish then split them up through the belly and remove the innards before washing and drying.  Now remove the head and lay the fish, belly down, onto a chopping board and firmly press your thumb all along the backbone.  Turn over the fish and gently pull the backbone from the flesh, and cut off at the tail.  Trim away any additional bones and repeat with the other fish.

2) Combine all the remaining ingredients in a small pan and heat until the sauce has reduced to a syrupy mixture, then brush over both sides of the fish.  Grill at a high heat for a minute on each side, brushing again with the sauce before turning, and serve.


  1. I am thinking of trying this tonight with salmon. The sauce lookes so thick and luscious...You think it will work as well with normal unrefined sugar?

  2. Hi,

    I've tried it with refined white sugar as well as unrefined, and it works well with both types.

    I think the unrefined sugar gives a slightly toffee-ish flavour which I rather like, but you can get the sweetness and syrupy texture from either. The only thing I would avoid is very strongly flavoured sugars like muscovado or other treacly sugars - too much of a good thing!

    Oh, if you have some sauce left over then loosen it with a spoon of water and you can use it as a sauce on veg, rice or noodles.

    Hope you enjoy it!

  3. I made it and it was delicious! A real hit at home. Will be posting about it soon, ok if I link to you? Too bad I didn't see your answer sooner, I would have love to use the left over sauce as you suggested.

  4. I'd be honoured if you linked to me! Glad it worked for you too - spread the word, it's such an easy recipe I feel it's one everyone should know!


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