Fragrant Tazukuri - Sweet-savory crunchy tiny sardines

Fragrant Tazukuri - Sweet-savory crunchy tiny sardines

This is a version of tazukuri (a sweet-savory dish made with tiny sardines) that includes walnuts. Even my little one, who don't like fish much, can't stop eating this.

Ingredients: An easy to make amount

Tazukuri sardines (gomame)
60 g
60 g
2 tablespoons
☆Soy sauce
2 tablespoons
☆Dashi stock
1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon


1. Spread the tazukuri sardines out on a microwave safe plate, and microwave for 1-2 minutes. Do the same thing with the walnuts.
2. Add the ☆ flavoring ingredients to a frying pan, and boil down until the bubbles become small.
3. The bubbles have become very fine.
4. Add the tazukuri sardines and walnuts from step 1, and boil down while stirring.
5. Use cooking chopsticks or a wooden spatula to mix, and coat the fish in the sauce. It will boil down quite quickly in a short amount of time.
6. After it has boiled down, spread out on a plate to cool.
7. Pease feel free to try this with almonds or peanuts in instead of the walnuts.
8. This is the tazukuri that my father made for New Years 2008 when I went back to my childhood home. My children ate it very happily.
9. This is my own version from December 2008. At first my father in law complained that "it's made differently from the way it's made in these parts", but once he had it he said "Please make it again next year"!
10. This is my version from December 2009. My kids helped out as well. When my husband pointed a camera at me I took a little time making a "peace" sign at the lens, so the tazukuri got a bit burned.
11. This is the dish that my father made for us when we went home in 2010. It was crispier than the one I make, and it seems that he adds 2-3 drops of oil before coating the fish with the sugary syrup.
12. I made this one for osechi (New Year's feast).

Story Behind this Recipe

Tazukuri was included as an item in osechi (the New Year feast) because the fish used in it, katakuchi iwashi (a type of sardine), was used to fertilize rice crops. So tazukuri is imbued with wishes for a year with plentiful harvests.