Homemade Gently Sweet Sakura Denbu

Homemade Gently Sweet Sakura Denbu

Sakura denbu is flaked cod that is slightly sweet and dyed pink. It's essential to chirashi sushi, but commercial sakura denbu is usually too I always recommend this homemade version.


1 piece
☆ Sugar
1/2 tablespoon plus
☆ Sake
1 tablespoon
☆ Salt
A pinch
★ Red food coloring
a tiny bit
★ Water
A few drops


1. Mix the ★ ingredients together. I've made a bit more than usual in the photo, but you just need about 5 dips of the tip of a toothpick in this recipe.
2. Remove the skin and bones from the cod and boil until completely cooked.
3. Flake the fish into large pieces in sieve sitting in a bowl of water. Take off any hard or bloody parts. Shred it lightly with your hands. Change the water 5 times as you continue shredding the fish.
4. Wrap the shredded fish with paper towels and squeeze out very very well. After you squeeze it out, make the flakes even finer with your fingers. Remove any bits that won't shred up finely.
5. Combine the shredded fish and the ☆ ingredients, plus just a tiny bit of ★ food coloring in a pan. Cook over low heat, mixing continuously, to dissolve the moisture. When it nears completion it has a tendency to burn easily so be careful.
6. When the fish is quite fluffy, turn off the heat and continue mixing for a while to evaporate any remaining moisture with residual heat. Done.

Story Behind this Recipe

I wanted to make a mildly sweet version of this when I was recovering from an illness.