Sardine in Sweet Vinegar Sauce

Always sardine recipes emphasize the health benefits of the fish. Thanks, but I don’t need a reason to eat these full flavored fatty fish.
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This recipe is even good for the people who don’t like fish being fishy.

What you need:
12 cleaned sardines, head off
Vinegar, 5 oz
Water, 5 oz
Sugar, 4 tbs
Soy sauce, 2 tbs
A few slices of ginger or a few dried whole red pepper, optional

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What to do:

1) Use a flat pan to accommodate all the fish in one layer. Pour in vinegar, water, sugar and soy sauce and heat.
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Add a few slices of ginger or a few dried red pepper optionally.

2) When boiling hard, carefully slip a fish in. Wait for the sauce to boil again, then add another fish.
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3) Place a sheet of aluminum foil directly on the fish to cover them, and simmer over medium-low heat for 12-15 minutes or until sauce becomes thickened.
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A technique of using a sheet of aluminum foil like above is called a drop lid. It lets the cooking liquid circulate so the top of fishes can be cooked evenly without turning or spooning. See The Power of the Otoshibuta (or, the Drop Lid) for more.
This technique is very helpful when you simmer food which can easily get flaky.

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4) When cooked, stop heating and let it cooled at room temperature.
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Although this recipe called for soy sauce, I believe this can be great tapas goes well with Pinot Noir, let alone well chilled white.

I have this recipe in Japanese, too.
イワシの酢煮

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