Chirimen Jako In Chili [Rice's Best Friend]


Mother in-law received a box of  chirimen jako (dried tiny sardines) awhile ago, 1 kg in the box! Perhaps you have no idea how big quantity it was for the consumption of a regular family, not sure about others but I always bought 100g pack used it in cooking or as topping for rice and dishes it took me a week or longer to finish it. 

Japaneses like chirimen jako very much, it is kind-of healthy food used in flavoring rice especially for picky little ones who tend to eat only plain rice. For my case, I sometimes mix it in steamed rice for my boys, and add into dishes like omelet and kakiage (fried vegetables tempura). Since it was abundant I cooked some in chili which hubby and I enjoyed it very much, we had it with rice, fried noodles and even as appetizer. Mother in-law wise, karai (spicy)!

  • 200 g chirimen jako 
  • 2-3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp grated garlic
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped dried mandarin orange peel
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 50 g chili flakes
  • 100 ml hot water
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Sugar to taste
  • Salt to taste

  1. In a bowl, mix chili flake with hot water and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in pot, fry chirimen jako for 2 to 3 minutes. Add in ginger, garlic, orange peel and onion, stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add in chili paste, cook until the oil is separated. Add in sugar and salt to taste, and lastly mix in lemon juice. Cook for few minutes, turn the heat off.
  4. Transfer to serving plate, serve warm or at room temperature. It can be kept in refrigerator for a week, in an airtight container.

Comments :

4 comments to “Chirimen Jako In Chili [Rice's Best Friend]”
Anonymous said...

Looks good! Are they similar to small dried anchovies?

Lydia said...

They are different in term of texture and taste. Dried anchovies taste a little bit fisher than chirimen jako, and harder too.

Chirimen jako not as dry as dried anchovies, so not necessary to soak in water before cooking.

Anonymous said...

I followed your recipe carefully and it was intolerably spicy hot. Are you certain about 50 g of chili flake?

Lydia said...

Just checked the chili flake I have, 1 big pack is 100g so half pack is 50g+/- as I did not used a scale.

I think the spiciness is depends on the type of chili, I always use Korean chili flake and I think it is not very hot (I prefer hotter). Perhaps next time you can reduce the chili flake to your taste.

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