Shirasu (whitebait)

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Tiny shirasu can be eaten raw, boiled or dried

Best eaten: Raw, as a garnish
These baby anchovies or sardines are best eaten in autumn, when their tiny white bodies become plump, juicy and tender as they put on fat for winter. Remarkably unfishy in taste, with a delicate flavour of the ocean, shirasu can be eaten raw, boiled or dried. Spoonfuls of these raw little fishies are eaten as a salad with ponzu or heaped on top of rice with ginger, spring onions, nori, raw egg, soya sauce and wasabi. Boiled and dried shirasu are added to all kinds of dishes, such as onigiri (rice balls) and ramen, even to Japanese-style pizzas and pastas, to add a salty, umami kick.