We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Niboshi?

Mary McMahon
Updated Feb 02, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Niboshi are dried sardines which are used in Japanese cooking. There are a number of uses for niboshi, ranging from snack foods to soup stocks, and they are abundant at Asian markets. You may also hear “niboshi” translated as “anchovies.” This is technically incorrect; although niboshi are small, like anchovies, they are really baby sardines, an entirely different fish. If you have trouble finding niboshi in your area, you can also purchase the fish through companies which produce it.

One of the most common uses for niboshi is in a soup stock called dashi. Dashi is often mixed with miso to make miso soup, and it forms a base stock for a variety of other dishes as well. To make dashi, people soak niboshi in water and then bring the water to a simmer to release the intense flavor of these fish. The broth is strained before use to remove the fish. Some companies make a form of instant dashi with powdered niboshi and other ingredients.

Because these fish have such an intense, concentrated flavor, they are also used to flavor various Japanese dishes. Some people add strong dashi stock to various foods for a fishy flavor, or they use chopped and soaked niboshi. The use of various preserved fish is common in many branches of Asian cuisine; you can also find ingredients like fish paste and fish sauce which also create a concentrated fish flavor.

In some parts of Japan, niboshi are also eaten as a snack food. They are typically fried and rolled in seasonings, and they may be dipped in an assortment of sauces. This snack food is common in street stalls, and it can sometimes be found packaged in Japanese markets. Niboshi can also be used to garnish dishes once they have been finished; some people enjoy the texture and flavor of plain dried niboshi.

You may see a lot of niboshi around the lunar new year, when niboshi snacks are especially popular. If you want to prepare dishes with niboshi at home, you can find the dried fish product pre-packaged in some markets, or available in bulk in others. Keep the fish in a cool dry place out of the light until you use it, and if you only use part of a package, seal the rest up in an airtight container so that the niboshi do not become stale or get moist.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a WiseGeek researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.