Glossary - Ingredients



Although available all year round, sardines are especially delicious during August to October when they accumulate large quantities of fat, making their flavor and aroma stronger.  In Japan, sardines are often sold in stores to celebrate “Setsubun”, the day before the start of spring. 



The fat in Japanese sardines contains high amounts of eicosapentaenoic (EPA) which inhibits blood clotting and is said to have a preventative effect for vascular disease, and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which activates the brain.


Select sardines with many scales and firm bellies. Fish that are ungutted lose their freshness fast. Gut and gill after purchase, store in a refrigerator and use up quickly.

Cooking Tips

Fresh sardines are delicious as sashimi and sushi topping. These fish can be widely used in pickled, boiled, pan-fried and deep-fried dishes.

Cooking Basics

Sardines - how to butterfly

1. Remove scales (de-scale)

Move the tip of the knife from the tail towards the head to scrape off the scales.

2. Chop off the head

Place the knife at the base of the pectoral fin and chop off the head in one motion.

3. Remove the innards

Cut away the edge of the belly from the head to the anal fin with a knife. Open the belly and use the knife to scrape out the innards.

4. Split open with hands

At this point, wrap the innards up in a newspaper, throw these away and rinse the sardine with water and then pat dry to remove excess moisture. Put your thumb inside the cut near to the top of the backbone, then slide this down towards the tail to split open.

5. Remove the backbone

Use your fingers to fold the end of the backbone near the tail, then carefully pull out the bone in the same direction.

6. Remove the stomach bones

Lay the knife flat and slice away the stomach bones. This completes the butterflying process.

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