Anchovies in sweet vinegar イワシの南蛮

japanese cake

This is the second dish I made from the frozen “iwashi” イワシ anchovies. This is a standard “Nanban” 南蛮. The sweet vinegar cut the oiliness and fishiness of the anchovies and this is a very good dish.

Since I found Japanese “shishitou” 獅子唐芥子 at our near-by Whole foods, I added one, simply fried, as a garnish.


Frozen (or fresh, if available) anchovy filets, thawed, three, cut into two making six pieces.

Potato starch for dredging

Peanuts or vegetable oil for deep frying

Celery (2 stalks), carrot (1 small), and sweet onion (1 small) cut into small strips (julienne)

For sweet vinegar marinade

Rice vinegar 1/2 cup

Japanese dashi 1/2 cup

Sugar 1/4 cup

Salt, a pinch

Light colored soy sauce, 1/2 tsp

Dried Japanese red pepper, 1 whole,


Before starting to fry the fish, I prepared the vegetables and sweet vinegar.

I placed the ingredients for sweet vinegar in a sauce pan and heated it until the sugar melted. I let it simmer for 5 minutes and then let it cool to room temperature.

I added the julienned of vegetables.

I removed the whole Japanese hot pepper and sliced it into small rings removing the seeds for the garnish. (I did this in the morning and kept it in the refrigerator until I was ready to deep fry the fish).

I dried the fillets and dredged them in potato starch and deep fried them for 3 -4 minutes turning once in 350F oil,  drained it on a paper towel (see below).

While the fish was hot, I placed it in the sweet vinegar and covered the fish with the vegetables (see below). You can enjoy immediately or keep it in the refrigerator for later.

For this type of strong flavored fish, “nanban” is a good preparation. We enjoyed this with cold sake.

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