Open-faced rare fried bonito sandwiches

Open-faced rare fried bonito sandwiches

Points for the recipe

Bonito is a food ingredient that evokes the arrival of early summer in Japan. Bonito has two peak seasons, and it has been a custom since the Edo period to eat the first catch of the season, which is considered auspicious and believed to extend one's lifespan. It has been one of the favored ingredients among the people of Edo.
In this dish, the first bonito is dipped in the batter and deep-fried, serving it while the inside is rare.


Ingredients (serves 3-4 people)
  • Bonito (back portion) - 1 piece
  • Onion - 1/2 (thinly sliced, soaked in water and squeezed)

  • Flour - about 2 tablespoons
  • Egg - 1
  • Breadcrumbs

  • Oil - vegetable oil with neutral flavor  
    *substitute with any other neutral vegetable oil

  • Baguette - 1/2 loaf (cut into desired thickness)

  • Salt - to taste
  • Onion sprouts - as needed (cut into 1cm width)
  • Micro herbs - as needed (cut into 1cm width)

Sauce (mix all ingredients together):

  • Dijon mustard - 1 teaspoon
  • Soy sauce (dark) - 1 1/2 tablespoons
  • Mirin(Sweet rice wine) - 1 tablespoon
  • Black pepper - a pinch
  • Balsamic vinegar - 1 tablespoon



1. Cut the bonito into pieces that fit in the kakugama. Place them on a tray and sprinkle with salt. Let them sit for about 10 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels.

2. Coat the bonito pieces in the following order: flour, egg, breadcrumbs.

3. Heat enough oil in the kakugama so that the bonito pieces are submerged. Heat it to 180℃ and fry the coated bonito for 1 minute and 30 seconds.

Cut it while it's still hot.

4. Grill the baguette on the kakugama's grill pan (external lid), then assemble by placing sliced onions, fried bonito, sauce, micro herbs, and sprouts in that order on the grilled baguette. Serve it in a dish to finish.


How to make the Breadcrumbs
Take half a baguette and tear it by hand into approximately 5 cm square pieces. Spread them on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 100℃ for 1 hour.

*If they are still soft, you can bake them for an additional 15 minutes.

*Once they become crispy, remove them from the oven and let them cool. Then, process them in a food processor until finely ground.


Surprises and discoveries when cooking with kakugama

In this cooking method, we achieved a delicate balance of a crispy exterior and a rare interior. The kakugama provided a sense of reassurance by gradually increasing the oil temperature and maintaining it steadily without the need for constant adjustments to the heat.
During tempura or fried chicken, even when using the same frying technique as usual, the result was astonishing. The surface turned out crispy while the inside remained moist and juicy, almost as if it had been steamed. It created an ideal fried dish.

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