We are making Tsumire-jiru, fish ball soup, by mincing sardine fillets. It’s like the tsumire ball dissolves in my mouth. So delicious!
Sardine Tsumire-jiru (Iwashi no Tsumire-jiru)
Sardinesnet weight: 130g/4.6 oz for 2 people
Cake or All Purpose Floursubstitute: any type of flour or potato starch
First, soak the dashi kombu seaweed in the water for about 1 hour.
Let’s cut the vegetables. Remove the outer skin of the daikon radish.
Cut the daikon into 5 mm (0.2") slices. Stack the slices and shred the radish into 4 cm (1.6") strips.
Just like the daikon, cut the carrot into slices, stack and shred them into strips.
Cut the long green onion into 1 cm (0.4") pieces using diagonal cuts.
Next, let’s clean the fish. Lightly rinse the sardines, removing the fish scales. Remove the excess moisture with paper towels.
Cutting the fish on a sheet of paper makes it easy to clean the cutting board later.
Remove the head using a sharp knife.
Slice off the belly lengthwise, removing the hard rib bones.
Remove the innards with your fingers.
Likewise clean the other sardine and thoroughly rinse the insides with running water.
Place the sardines onto a plate and thoroughly remove the excess water with paper towels.
Now, let’s fillet the sardines. First, place your thumbs onto the backbone and open the sardines from side to side.
Break the backbone at the tail fin and gently peel it off the fillets.
Shave the rib bones from one side.
Rotate 180 degrees and then remove the other side of the rib bones.
Finally, remove the tail fin.
Now, check out the skin-side of the fillets and you’ll see this back fin.
To remove this, cut out the middle of the fillets lengthwise with the knife.
And now, let’s mince the fillets. First, chop them into 5 mm (0.2") pieces.
Then, roughly mince the pieces with the knife.
Add the miso, grated ginger, sake and cake flour. You can substitute any type of flour since the amount is so small.
Toss to coat with the seasonings and continue mincing the fillets until even.
Let’s make the tsumire-jiru. Put the daikon radish and carrot into the pot of the kombu dashi stock, turn on the burner and cover with a lid.
Bring it to a boil on high heat and then reduce the heat to medium low, simmering the vegetables for 4 to 5 minutes until they soften.
When the vegetables are cooked, add the sake.
With a spoon, shape the minced sardines into balls with the palm of your hand.
Drop the fish balls into the broth one at a time.
When it begins to boil again, reduce the heat and remove the foam with a mesh strainer. Simmer for 2 to 3 more minutes.
When the tsumire balls begin to float to the surface, drop in the long green onion and simmer for about 1 minute.
Finally, dissolve the miso in the broth.
First, dissolve the miso in a ladle and then distribute it into the broth. This will help the miso to dissolve completely and avoid any lumps.
Ladle the tsumire balls, vegetables and broth into a bowl.
Top with the seven flavor chili powder to taste.
- The combination of the kombu stock and the sardine broth make this one of the most delicious soups.
- You can also make a clear soup version of the tsumire-jiru using sake, salt and soy sauce instead of miso.
- Sardines are rich in nutrients and the oil has great health benefits.