27 January 2009

smelts two ways

I bought some smelts the other day, not quite knowing what I'd do with them. They're small — like sardines — but white and delicate — unlike sardines. The latter I figured out after making that first meal: fried smelts with roasted potatoes and beets. It appears that smelts and boiled potatoes are traditional... but, I'd argue bland. So I thought I'd roast the potatoes. But the smelts were still bland. Nice, but white. Very delicate.

They needed something.

So I re-interpreted Hiroko Shimbo's recipe for sardines in a sweet sauce. The sauce is 1T honey heated in ¼c. water (recipe called for 2T sugar) to which ¼c. mirin and ¼c. shoyu are added, then simmered. The fileted smelts were tossed in lemon juice and then in brown rice flour (which I use for fish in general). I fried them in sesame oil, drained them and placed them on rice and poured the sauce over. A little sprinkle of black sesame seeds...

And that worked. It was very good.