Salmon nanban zuke

Salmon nanban

Nanban in Japanese translates to southern barbarian. In the history of Japan this was the old word to used to describe the Portuguese. These days the term nanban refers to a dish that includes dry red chili. It was the Portuguese who first brought chili to Japan. Furthermore this recipe happens to be the Japanese version of Portuguese escabeche. In history the Portuguese were great sailers and explorers. They created this dish as a method to preserve the fish for long journeys. The vinegar preserves the fish.


Type of Dish Appetizer


  • 500 ml (1 1/4 lb) salmon
  • 1 lt vegetable oil (to deep fry)
  • 50 g flour
  • 300 ml rice vinegar
  • 180 ml dashi
  • 40 ml light soy
  • 40 ml mirin
  • 1/2 medium onion (thinly sliced)
  • 3 piece spring onion (cut into 2 cm pieces)
  • 1/2 medium carrot (cut into julienne)
  • 1 medium dry chili (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 small lemon (thinly sliced)


  1. Mix marinade ingredients together and reserve. Cut salmon into bite sized pieces. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Dust in flour. Heat vegetable oil to 180°C and fry salmon until cooked (about 5 to 7 minutes). As soon as the salmon is cooked put it straight into the marinade (while still hot). leave salmon to cool in the marinade. Refrigerate overnight and serve the next day,
  2. This is a traditional Japanese recipe, but if you want to try a creative twist then try other vinegars, I like to use a mix of rice vinegar and framboise (raspberry vinegar)

Further Information

Yield 4

Preparation Time is approxmiately 30 minutes.

Cooking Time is approxmiately 30 minutes.

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