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Candied Dried Baby Sardines (Tazukuri) for New Year's

Tazukuri are full of calcium!
They don't get sticky even after they cool, so they are very easy to eat.

Ingredients

Small dried sardines (Japanese anchovies)
40 g
Sesame seeds
1 tablespoon
○Soy sauce
1 tablespoon
○Sugar
1 tablespoon
○Sake
2 tablespoons
○Honey (or starch syrup)
1 tablespoon
○Water
1 tablespoon
○Vegetable oil
2 teaspoons

Steps

1. Prepare the sardines. They should be about 3-4 cm long.
2. Pan-fry the sardines and sesame seeds in a frying pan without any oil. Use very low heat and make sure they don't burn.
3. Put the ○ ingredients into a saucepan and boil until decreased by half.
4. Add the sardines and sesame seeds to the saucepan and simmer over low heat until only a small amount of liquid remains. You should leave about 1-1.5 tablespoons of the liquid.
5. Cool the contents of the saucepan as you stir. Arrange on a plate and it's done!

Story Behind this Recipe

Make some tazkuri for your New Year's feast! They are an auspicious dish.

Origin:
Sardines used to be used as fertilizer for top grade rice fields, so the people would eat them and pray for an abundant harvest. The other name for this dish, "gomame" (or "fifty thousand rice grains"), comes from the fact that the sardines used as fertilizer bring an abundant harvest (based on information I found on Wikipedia).