Roast the dried young anchovies in a pan for a few minutes. Once crispy, add the sugar, mirin and soy sauce. Reduce the heat to low and continue to fry.
Add sake and vegetable oil. Cook until the fish have absorbed all the seasoning liquid. Space out on a tray, sprinkle with white sesame seeds, and enjoy.
I packed these candied dried young anchovies in my Osechi (New Year's feast) box.
Story Behind this Recipe
I make this for my Osechi (New Year's feast) box every year. In Japan, dried young anchovies are thought to be auspicious. I really like crunch fish, so this has become my go-to candied anchovy recipe .
Be careful not to break off the delicate anchovy heads while cooking. Be sure to fry them until they have absorbed all of the seasoning liquid, so that they'll be really flavoursome. Keep frying until crunchy.