Deep-Fried Shishamo Recipe

These little fried fish are all about the sauce you dip them in.


Mild in taste with a pleasantly grainy texture, deep-fried shishamo are a perfect vehicle for a sauce of your choosing. A light ponzu (our sauce of choice) is nicely balanced, and doesn't overwhelm the taste of the fish.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 20 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

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  • About 10 ounces shishamo or other smelt fish

  • 1/2 cup flour, for dusting

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • At least 3 cups oil, for frying

For the Dipping Sauce:

  • 1 cup dashi soup stock

  • 1/4 cup mirin

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • Sections of lemon, for squeezing over fish


  1. Wash and dry the fish. In a medium size bowl, combine the flour and the salt.

  2. Place dashi, mirin, soy sauce, and sugar in a small sauce pan and mix well. Over medium heat, bring to a simmer and stir, dissolving sugar. Let cool and set aside.

  3. In wok, heat oil to about 350 F. Have ready a plate lined with paper towels, and the dipping sauce at hand. Lightly dredge each fish in the bowl of flour and salt, shaking off excess salt. Deep-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until skin is golden brown. Place the fried fish on the paper towels to soak up oil, then eat immediately with sauce and sections of lemon.

Special equipment

Wok or other vessel for deep-frying

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
115 Calories
10g Fat
6g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 115
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 12%
Saturated Fat 1g 3%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 663mg 29%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 7mg 34%
Calcium 5mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 71mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)