In the last few weeks we’ve been able to buy what I thought were sardines to sell from our fish counter during the weekend. It turns out that they’re not actually sardines but are sanma, a Japanese word translated as mackerel pike. The taste and texture are the same as sardines but they’re a little bigger. We sell them whole or, or if you email me email@example.com, by Friday afternoon I’ll clean them and butterfly them for you. This week I’ve prepared them in four different ways. In each recipe either leave the fillets whole or cut them in half horizontally. I haven’t given any quantities unless it’s important to keep the flavours balanced.
Butterflied fillets of sanma
Place the following in a dish – half a sliced red onion, finely sliced small carrot, several juniper berries (lightly crushed), a few coriander seeds, a few black peppercorns, 2 or 3 bayleaves.
Put the fillets, flesh side down, in the dish and cover with a good quality white vinegar (add a little water if it’s too sharp) or rice vinegar (a little milder) or lemon juice. Cover and refrigerate for 5-7 hours. Then pour off the vinegar and cover the fillets with a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
Serve on crackers or toast with finely chopped parsley and garlic. And, these are delicious served on top of a warm potato salad.