Konnichiwa fellow rice lovers! Today, we are going to take a culinary trip to Japan with this delicious yet simple recipe for Japanese herring rice. This meal is light, flavorful, and perfect for those who want to try something new. It’s a one-pot wonder that can be made easily in your rice cooker, and you’ll be able to taste the ocean in every bite. So, let’s get started with this recipe, and I guarantee you will fall in love with it after the first bite! We’ve made this japanese herring rice recipe easy to follow 👨‍🍳. If you’re looking for our favorite rice cookers to make this recipe, check out our list of top rice cookers here.

japanese herring rice ingredients


  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 5 dried herring fillets
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sake
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted


  1. Place the dried herring fillets in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let them soak for about 5 minutes, then drain and pat dry with paper towels.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, mirin, sake, and sugar.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
  4. Add the garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds.
  5. Add the dried herring fillets and stir-fry for another 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the green onions and stir-fry for another minute.
  7. Add the cooked rice and stir-fry until heated through and well combined, about 2-3 minutes.
  8. Drizzle the soy sauce mixture over the rice and herring and stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

japanese herring rice

How long does japanese herring rice last in the fridge?

Japanese herring rice can be stored in the refrigerator after cooking for up to 3-4 days if it is properly stored in an airtight container. It is important to let the rice cool down before placing it in the container to prevent condensation and the growth of bacteria. However, it is recommended to consume the rice within 2 days after cooking to ensure optimal freshness and taste. If you plan to store the rice for a longer period, you can also freeze it for up to 2-3 months in a freezer-safe container. Be sure to label the container with the date of freezing and reheating instructions.

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Low calorie japanese herring rice recipe substitutions

To make this Japanese herring rice recipe lower in calories, there are a few substitutions you can consider making. First, you can swap the vegetable oil with a low-calorie cooking spray or reduce the amount of oil used. Second, you can replace the sugar with a low-calorie sweetener or reduce the amount of sugar used. Third, you can opt for a lower-sodium soy sauce and reduce the amount used. Finally, you can use brown rice instead of white rice to add more fiber and nutrients to the dish. These substitutions can help reduce the calorie count of the recipe while still maintaining its flavors and textures.

What to serve with a japanese herring rice?

Japanese herring rice is a traditional dish that is usually eaten during the autumn season. It’s a delicate and flavorful meal that pairs perfectly with some delicious side dishes. Some great options to serve alongside Japanese herring rice are a simple miso soup with tofu and seaweed, pickled veggies such as cucumber or radish, and a small green salad with a ginger dressing. The miso soup balances the flavors of the rice while the pickled veggies add a tangy crunch and the salad provides a refreshing contrast. These sides complement the herring rice well and create a complete and satisfying meal.

Whats the best sauce for a japanese herring rice?

Japanese herring rice, also known as Namban-zuke, is a traditional Japanese dish made by marinating herring in vinegar and soy sauce. Given the strong and tangy flavor of the fish, a simple and mild sauce would be best to complement its taste. One option is to serve the herring rice with a small serving of Japanese mayo, which has a creamy texture, and a dash of soy sauce for a subtle umami flavor. Another classic pairing for the dish is a side of grated daikon radish mixed with soy sauce and a pinch of grated ginger, providing a refreshing taste and cleansing the palate after each bite.

Japanese herring rice health benefits

Japanese herring rice, which is known as Namban-zuke, is a traditional Japanese dish that consists of herring fillets that are pickled in soy sauce, vinegar, ginger, and other seasonings that are then served over steamed rice. While it can be a tasty and satisfying dish, it does not have any specific health benefits, as it is relatively high in sodium and calories due to the pickling process. However, a healthier alternative would be to have steamed rice with grilled or baked fish, which is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids that promote heart health and brain function. Additionally, pairing your rice with a variety of vegetables, such as steamed broccoli or roasted sweet potatoes, can provide additional vitamins and fiber to your diet, helping to boost your overall health.

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