The Joy of Cooking with Friends… presents Aji no nanbanzuke. Thanks to Yuka from the trippplenipples and Make Believe’s own Amber Joy, as the Tokyo summer gave us one last day of beautiful sun and glory,  we had an afternoon of wine, cooking and made some classic Japanese dishes with Yuka’s help. This really deserves to be shared and can easily be made with a few key ingredients.

Nanbanzuke is a Japanese dish with meat or fish that has been deep fried and marinated in a sweet vinegar sauce. The Aji you can’t really see in the picture is a type of fish, horse mackerel to be precise, which is what we used, together with sliced vegetables and a lovely sweet marinade.

Yuka took charge of the fish which needed some preparation and a little clean, while Amber sliced away and I helped make the dashi. A video here on how to cut and clean Aji the whole way, although for this dish removing the head, innards and fins is fine. It is great in summer as has a refreshing note to it and even though this was the first time making it I will definitely be making this again. Even in winter this is a perfect part of any meal.

Try another white fish or salmon if you like and you can cut the fish or deep fry the whole fillet as we did. Making the marinade, allowing it cool while chopping some vegetables, deep frying the fish and putting it in a plate for a few hours is all this takes. Although best served after all the yummy sweet vinegar has had time to be infused with the fish, it is also great as soon as you’ve made it too. Without the depth of flavor that marinating gives you but SO fresh and deeply enjoyable nonetheless.

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