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.
Read more: The Nasty Bits: More Smelt
- Yield:4 to 6 as an appetizer
- Active time: 20 minutes
- Total time:20 minutes
- About 10 ounces shishamo or other smelt fish
- 1/2 cup flour, for dusting
- 1 teaspoon of 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
Wash and dry the fish. In a medium size bowl, combine the flour and the salt.
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.
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.