Takashi Miyazaki\'s Sardine Kombu Namasu

Takashi Miyazaki's Sardine Kombu NamasuPhotography by Brian Clarke, assisted by Harry Weir

Sardine kombu namasu, which means pickled sardine, daikon and carrot in kombu rice vinegar is a starter dish is one we make to celebrate on Japanese new year’s day, as the red of the carrot and the white of the daikon are celebratory colours in Japan

Serves 1-2


  • 2 sardine fillets, butterflied
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 100ml rice vinegar
  • 250g daikon
  • 50g carrot
  • 2/3 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 pinch white sesame seeds

For the namasu vinegar:

  • 100ml water
  • 10g kombu
  • 60ml rice vinegar
  • 25g sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Start by making the kombu dashi. Place the water and kombu in a pot and heat until it starts to boil. Take the kombu out of the pot. This is kombu dashi. Place the kombu dashi, rice vinegar, sugar and salt into a bowl and mix well. This is the namasu vinegar. Leave to the side.
  2. To pickle the sardines, sprinkle salt on the butterflied fillets and leave for 20 minutes. Wipe well with kitchen towel. Soak the sardines in the rice vinegar and leave for 15 minutes. Remove and wrap in clingfilm.
  3. Cut the daikon and carrot into batons. Add the salt to the veg and rub in. Leave them for 20 minutes. Squeeze well.
  4. Slice the pickle sardines thinly (5mm) and mix with the daikon and carrot. Place in a bowl and pour over namasu vinegar. Leave it in the fridge for two hours. Serve in a bowl and sprinklle over the white sesame seeds.

TIP- I like to slice the pickled sardines nice and thinly, but they can also be served bigger, as pictured.

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