In this Japan travel promotion video, this fried I think food is displayed, screenshot from the hot pan:

enter image description here

What is this?

  • 1
    I think it’s very small fish, actually. You can see the tiny eyes. It’s apparently called shirasu zojirushi.com/blog/?p=3525 not sure I ever tried that.
    – jcaron
    Mar 14, 2020 at 21:07
  • 15
    How is that a crime? It's just animals that are bred for the purpose of eating them, like nearly all the meat and a lot of the fish you eat. I know some people want to outlaw that, but for now it's all perfectly legal in most countries.
    – jcaron
    Mar 14, 2020 at 22:48
  • 11
    I'm pretty sure this is fish that has been bred in captivity. It would be near impossible to fish that in the open sea. Those fish are tiny. They're at most 1 mm wide.
    – jcaron
    Mar 14, 2020 at 23:10
  • 10
    A cod will produce about 40,000,000 baby cod; about 2 survive to breed. It is the fate of most baby fish to die by suffocation, complicated by digestion.
    – James K
    Mar 15, 2020 at 8:33
  • 5
    @jcaron The UK equivalent, whitebait, is certainly fished in the open sea. All you need is a fine net, and knowing how to be in the right place at the right time. People have been eating it in the UK for at least 400 years, and the species haven't gone extinct yet, despite the Marine Conservation Society whining about it being unsustainable.
    – alephzero
    Mar 15, 2020 at 19:17

2 Answers 2


It's called 'Shirasu'. It's the juvenile offspring of anchovies, herrings or sardines.

In other parts of the world it's called 'whitebait' or 'gianchetti', or...other names. The exact species varies from place to place too.

reference: Wikipedia

  • 8
    @gsamaras It's very legal and very common through East Asia. Those baby fish are raised for specifically this purpose.
    – xuq01
    Mar 15, 2020 at 9:59

It looks like shirasu (or "whitebait"):



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