I found 2 frozen pacific saury or sanma サンマ in the freezer which I bought a few months ago. Since they do not improve with prolonged freezing and the weather is not conducive to grilling outside, I decided to make something different. Since I already made sanma fry, I looked for other recipes. These are based on the recipes I saw on line. Both dishes are made from filets of sanma, rolled and deep fried. I made some modifications, of course. In the picture below, the left is cheese filled with scallion miso and perilla, breaded and fried. The one on the right is filled with pickled plum paste or “bainiku” 梅肉 and perilla. It was coated with potato starch and deep fried like kara-age 唐揚げ. Initially I was debating which dish to make and was leaning toward the pickled plum since it seemed simpler and I was afraid the cheese would melt and run out of the other one. When I described the recipes to my wife she said, “live on the wild side; go for the cheese”. So I decided to compromise and make both; if worse came to worse at least the pickled plum one would probably come out ok.
I thawed two sanma and filleted them or “sanmai ni orosu” 三枚におろす in Japanese culinary parlance as I posted before. I then cut one filet into two making 8 pieces.
Sanma roll fry with scallion miso and perilla:
Scallion miso: Mixed finely chopped scallion (one), miso (1tbs), mirin (1tbs), sugar (1tsp), ground white sesame (1 tbs) or sesame paste or both.
I smeared the scallion miso on the meat side, cut the perilla leaves in half and laid them over the miso and placed on a small button of cheese (I used smoked gouda) and rolled. I secured the roll with a toothpick. I dredged the roll in flour, egg water and panko bread crumbs (I made sure both ends were sealed) and deep fried in 350F oil for 4-5 minutes turning frequently.
We served the rolls with coleslaw and sake. For 20 some years, our favorite sake cups were red and blue (“meoto” 夫婦 husband and wife) cut crystal cold sake cups (by Hoya). One day we took them out to use them and found that, somehow, the blue one was damaged and couldn’t be used any more. Somehow using the red one alone just didn’t seem right. It was a bit of a loss and we sorely missed them. Recently, however, my wife found some substitutes on eBay and “surprised” me with them.