Minuscule size, full flavor03 June, 2013 by Chad
If you ever find yourself visiting Kanagawa Prefecture you might want to take note of the local speciality of Shirasu. During separate trips to Enoshima, some of our writers managed to give the dish a try.
Shirasu are baby anchovies. The dish is famous to Shonan, Kanagawa’s southern coast as they are caught in bulk from the fishing grounds at Sagami Bay. The tiny creatures are often dried and used as toppings to rice, or eaten raw as in the case here.
Admittedly, it’s an acquired taste. Given that you’re eating entire fish larvae whole, you can expect a whole lot of fishiness concentrated into that these tiny things. It might be acceptable to those with a tolerance for stronger tasting fishes like salmon or bonito, but I would advice those who aren’t to go with the cooked option.
For those coming from this side of the world, yes, it is ikan bilis. Still, this unusual take on a familiar dish is definitely worth a try. You can check out more examples of Shirasu dishes at Grace’s recount of her experience at Enoshima.
Supermerlion's Webmaster and Editor-in-Chief. Singaporean Nikkeijin with over 12 years of experience in the media industry. Producer at a Japanese entertainment company. Former Web Developer, Graphic Designer, Multimedia Programmer, Manager and Consultant. Shoots with a Canon 5Dmk2.