[Make the youlinji sauce] Step 1. Add the soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, and water into a heatproof dish, and microwave for about 1.5 minutes at 600 W.
Step 2...Add the minced white part of the Japanese leek and white sesame seeds to Step 1, then mix.
Remove the heads and entrails from the sardines. Butterfly, and remove the spines. Remove the small bones as well, using a knife.
Cut the butterflied sardines in half along where the spines used to be, and cut off the fins.
Sprinkle the sake and soy sauce on the Step 4 sardines to pre-season.
Heat a frying pan, and add about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Coat the Step 5 sardines with cake flour, and fry both sides.
Put washed red leaf lettuce and cherry tomatoes on a plate, place on the Step 6 sardines, and pour the Step 2 sauce on top.
Here is the youlinji chicken recipe using chicken breasts. "Amazing Sauce! Original Tender Youlinji (Chinese Deep Fried Chicken) Made with Chicken Breasts" (Recipe ID: 2071626)
Fry the silken tofu, and pour the youlinji sauce on top. "Youlinji-style Silken Tofu" (Recipe ID: 1868138)
Story Behind this Recipe
I though the youlinji sauce might go well with fish, so I created this recipe. It's easy to eat for elderly people and kids since all the bones are removed from the fish. I'd be happy if the kids who don't like fish could enjoy this dish, too.
If you are serving this at different times (and not in one sitting), fry all the sardines first. Microwave them just before eating, for easy reheating.