Deep-Fried Shishamo Recipe

The Nasty Bits

Recipes and stories for everything but the oink.

Deep-Fried Shishamo Recipe

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.

  • 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


  1. 1.

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

  2. 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. 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.