"Boneless" Pacific Saury or Sardines in Sweet-Salty Sauce (Kanroni) Cooked in a Pressure Cooker
This is Pacific saury or sardines simmered in a shiny sweet-salty sauce, a classic dish called kanroni. They'll become so tender that it's hard to believe there are any bones. A pressure cooker is required for this. The basic recipe was taught to me by bar owner in Shibuya, Tokyo.
Put all the ingredients, except for the Pacific saury, in the pressure cooker.
Cut up the Pacific saury in the way you prefer. You can just chop off the head and tail and cut the rest into large pieces with the guts still inside. You can remove the guts if you prefer, of course.
This is my preferred way to clean fish. First, make a cut from the head towards the tail.
Insert the knife at the base of the head, and cut through the main bone that connects the head and the body.
If you pull the head downwards the guts will come out with it. If you do it like this you can remove the guts quite easily.
After the guts have been removed, wash off the blood inside the fish. Chop up the fish body into large pieces.
Put the fish pieces in the pressure cooker with the ingredients you already put in (in Step 2).
Lock the lid on and start cooking over high heat.
When the cooker comes up to pressure, turn the heat down to low and simmer for 20 minutes. If it smells like it's burning, turn the heat off. Soy sauce burns easily so watch out.
After 20 minutes, turn the heat off, and leave the pressure cooker alone until it cools down and de-pressurizes.
When the pressure is down, take the lid off, transfer the fish to serving plates and it's done.
I wrote the recipe using Pacific saury, but it's the same if you use sardines. Just adjust the ingredient amounts depending on how much fish you are cooking.
It's so easy, but it's amazingly delicious. You can't feel the bones at all.
Whether or not you leave the guts in is your preference. Some people like to eat the guts separately, grilled with a little salt. The kanroni is delicious made with fish with the guts still in too - I recommend it.
The bitter taste of the guts is very nice in kanroni since it's quite sweet. But again, it depends on your tastes.
I wrote out the recipe with easy to remember ingredient amounts. If you find a better ratio, please let me know.
I use regular white sugar in the recipe, but you can use dark brown sugar and so on instead.
Story Behind this Recipe
The owner of a bar in Shibuya taught me this recipe. Thank you!