What is Sakura Denbu in Japanese Cuisine?

Like other countries, Japan has a wide range of traditional foods, but the main ingredients of some of them aren’t well known and the representative example includes “Sakura Denbu (桜田麩 or 桜でんぶ)”.

Sakura Denbu (桜田麩)

Sakura Denbu

Actually, Sakura Denbu is a type of “Tsukudani (佃煮)”, which is a traditional Japanese food made by simmering down ingredients, such as small fish, clams, or seaweed, with soy sauce and sugar.

Tsukudani comes in many different varieties, but among those, Nori no Tsukudani, the black paste shown below, made by simmering down seaweed laver with soy sauce and sugar, is most widely enjoyed.

Nori no Tsukudani on Rice

Meanwhile, “Denbu (田麩)” is made out of fish that has been broken into tiny pieces and cooked with sake, mirin (sweet cooking rice wine), sugar, and salt until dry.

The most common Denbu variety is Sakura Denbu which is made with white fish, such as sea bream, and colored, using red food coloring, into pink, like “Sakura (桜)” or cherry blossoms.

Although both Nori no Tsukudani and Denbu are classified as Tsukudani, they are different in ingredients. Besides, while Nori no Tsukudani is gooey and somewhat salty, Denbu is powdery and moderately sweet.

Dishes using Sakura Denbu

Chirashi Sushi with Sakura Denbu

Sakura Denbu is often used as a topping in the scattered sushi “Chirashi Zushi (ちらし寿司)“.

Sanshoku Soboro Bento

In addition, the boxed lunch consisting of a bed of white rice topped with Sakura Denbu, scrambled eggs, and stir-fried pork or chicken mincemeat, “Sanshoku Soboro Bento (三色そぼろ弁当)” is especially favored by children in Japan.

Where to Buy

Sakura Denbu is a common food in Japan, so it can be bought in almost any supermarket around the country.

(Reference Page: Wikipedia 田麩 )


Hi, I'm Tomo, a Japanese blogger living in Niigata Prefecture, Japan. For the purpose of enriching your life, I would like to introduce things about Japan on this blog, especially unique Japanese products, cooking recipes, cultures, and facts and trivia.

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