Glossary - Ingredients

Niboshi,iriko/Dried sardine


Dried small fish packed with umami. Used to make dashi broth, and delicious as a snack


Small fish that have been boiled then dried. Most "niboshi/iriko" (dried sardines) are made from Japanese anchovy, and they are a standard ingredient in miso soup stock. The smaller ones can be eaten as is for a nice snack. They are called “niboshi” in the Kanto region, and “iriko” in the Kansai region, but they are still the same thing.


Rich in protein and calcium. Aside from iron, they also contain EPA and DHA which are known to lower cholesterol and thin blood.


Store in a spot with low humidity to prevent mold. In general, niboshi/iriko are sold in stores in an airtight container. Make sure you store them in an airtight container after opening to prevent humidity in the refrigerator or freezer.


Japanese anchovies that are from 2.5-10 cm in size are niboshi/riko. They are sold in stores as different products depending on the size, and the soup stocks made from them will vary in flavor or strength as a result.


To get the most out of the protein and calcium in niboshi/iriko, simply eat them whole as a snack. Also, when making a dashi stock, make sure to remove the head and guts first. This will help to alleviate the bitterness.

Cooking Basics

Dashi - how to make from sardines

Ingredients (for 800 ml / 27 fl. oz. of dashi)

Dried sardines
30 - 40 g (1 - 1.4 oz.)
100 ml (33.8 fl. oz.)


Remove heads from the dried sardines and split the bodies into two halves to remove the innards. Place the dried sardines into water and allow to soak overnight, or for at least 30 minutes if you need to save time, then heat over medium heat. When scum begins to form on the surface, simmer for about 5 minutes while skimming off the scum. Place a dampened paper towel over an all-purpose strainer and strain the dashi.

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