Many years ago, there was a place called South King Lounge (near Anyplace Lounge) that served some great and unique bar food. One of the apps that they served was a can of sardines, baked with herbs, and sold for $7. We were never able to figure out what was in the dish that made it so special, but it was definitely kicked up a few notches.
Recently, we were talking about foods in our pantry, and I asked chef John Iha of Gochi Grill to try to do something simple. It didn’t help that he had never been to South King Lounge! I showed him my only photo of the SKL sardines (above), and he made his own riff on it.
For this recipe, you’ll need:
1 can of Brunswick sardines in oil
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon shoyu (preferably Usukuchi shoyu)
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon chili pepper water (I use Hawaii Pantry)
1/4 teaspoon hondashi
1 clove garlic, sliced
Takana (pickled cabbage, or use any other Japanese pickles for crunch)
Green onions, chopped
Chiffonade of shiso
Squeeze of lemon
Follow the video above to get this done!
Now, you won’t be able to use all of the shoyu sauce unless you make a few cans of sardines at once. John said you can use the leftover sauce for somen or as a light marinade for another fish, which you can bake.