Smelt Nanbanzuke or Japanese Escabeche

Monahan's Seafood Market | Fresh Whole Fish, Fillets, Shellfish, Recipes, Catering & Lunch Counter-Ann Arbor, Michigan

Serves 4 as an appetizer

  • 1 lb. fresh smelt, pan dressed (head off and gutted)
  • Milk for dipping
  • Peanut or vegetable oil
  • Drakes batter mix (available at Monahan’s) or seasoned flour
  • 2 small carrots (about 1/2 cup) cut into 2 inch strips
  • 1/2 cup daikon radish cut into 2 inch strips
  • 4 scallions sliced very thin diagonally, then squeeze into tiny rings

For the marinade

  • 2/3 cup dashi (bonito flake and kombu seaweed stock) available at Asian grocers
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 1/2 T soy sauce
  • 2T mirin
  • 2-3 t dried red pepper flakes, or 2 small dried red chilies crushed

Bring marinade ingredients to boil in a saucepan and reduce it down for a few minutes

Dip smelt in milk

Dredge in Drakes or seasoned flour

Heat a large pan over med high heat and add about 1/2 inch of oil

When oil is hot, (hot enough so that a tail of smelt sizzles vigorously when dipped in) add smelt to pan and fry for about 2 -3 min. a side or until golden brown

Drain on paper bag or paper towel and season with salt

Lay smelt out in a casserole or high-rimmed dish

Spread daikon radish, carrots and scallions over smelt

Pour marinade over the smelt

Mix it all together, cover and let marinate overnight or serve right away hot

Monahan's Seafood

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