Nissui Whole Sardines in Sweet Soy Sauce (Iwashi Ajitsuke)


“Sweet and spicy soy sauce finish” is the tagline.

Aji-tsuke is a classic flavoring combination in Japan – soy sauce,
sake, mirin and sugar. These tins don’t actually have sake or mirin in
them, but it’s the thought that counts.

These are Thai fish, canned in Japan.

The can reads “Delicious blue fish for the body” (In English, we’d say “for
health” rather than “for the body”).

Nissui’s corporate website has a lot of information about sustainability,
zero plastics, and diversity.

100g (3.53 oz) tin

In stock


Ingredients: Sardines (Sardinops melanostictus), water, sugar, soy sauce (water, soybean, wheat, salt), salt, guar gum, monosodium glutamate, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate.

Check out Matthew Carlson enjoying these, Hagoromo Sardines in Soy Sauce (Iwashi de Kenko), and Nissui Whole Sardines in Miso (Iwashi Miso Ni).


  1. Hream McDan (verified owner)

    Really fun tin. Great sardine texture for this style, a little softer but in a good “this soaked up the sauce nicely” way. I was curious if the sauce would be too sweet but it but didn’t come across that way at all over rice. Mild flavor yet enough to notice, providing the ideal amount of moisture in each bite. The sauce wasn’t tremendously complex so I’d probably add just a little bit of heat (chili crisp?) or furikake next time to provide an additional element of interest, but I did enjoy it even without.

    Absolutely worth keeping a tin of this (and the Nissui mackerel in miso) in your pantry for those days when you have a little bit of leftover rice from the night before.

  2. Greg L (verified owner)

    I can’t really recommend these. Are they bad? No. But I just don’t think they’re worth buying when considering all the other fish around. The tin was filled with three rather large, nice looking sardines. I did as instructed by the paper that came with the tin and heated them up until steaming and put them on some warm rice. It was fine. The soy flavor was mild. The sweetness was slightly present. The sardines had a decent texture, but were a little on the dry side. The flavor was pretty mild, nearly bland. If you want this flavor profile in a quick, easy dish, I’d rather get a different sardine and top it with a better sauce (Japanese eel sauce would work great) on the rice.

  3. fishday (verified owner)

    Agree with the other reviews. We enjoyed it over warm rice. The taste is exactly how you would imagine a sardine in soy would taste and not too, too much beyond that. Of the three of us, one person thought it was great, one thought good and one didn’t think too much of it. So who knows!

  4. An Nguyen (verified owner)

    I really loved this tin, especially when warmed up and eaten with a hot bowl of rice and some hot sauce. The soy sauce flavor is gently sweet and very savoury; the fish are nicely sized and their texture is pretty meaty. I also like how affordable this tin is, making it a great option to stash up for quick and easy meals.

  5. Meredith Slopen (verified owner)

    Added this to sauteed turnips and greens (just threw it on top in the pan to heat at the end) and enjoyed with rice and chili crisp. I wasn’t sure based on initial smell (which was very fishy) but the sauciness added a nice touch and was well balanced! Would do it again: a good quick solo meal.

  6. marshallprather (verified owner)

    These were delicious! We took the RTG recommendation of heating up the sardines and then placed them ontop of rice with furukake, chili crisp, a little soy sauce and topped with green onion. I would make this again with the addition of a soft boiled egg and avocado to cut some of the salt. All in all 10/10 for an economical, quick and tasty meal!

  7. justindsalyer (verified owner)

    This tin, like most of the Japanese deenz are amazing to top onto a warm bowl of rice! perfect for a quick lunch or even breakfest!

    – Sweet
    – Savory
    – Hint of smoky

  8. chrisclaycamp (verified owner)

    These were a nice change from your typical tin of sardines. My tin held just two very large fish with the telltale curved body of Pacific dines. These are larger than even the big Portuguese ones, with about the same girth but additional length. I ate them room temp over warm rice with some sweet potatoes and kale for a quick dinner. I didn’t pick up much soy sauce flavor, but they were pleasantly sweet, definitely a different kind of flavor profile from European or Moroccan fish – almost sushi-like. Maybe the sauce would’ve been more flavorful if I had warmed them up. I’ve seen some say that the Pacific sardines have a less appealing flavor and texture, but no complaints with these. Maybe a bit firmer than average and fine flavor. Decent value at 4.50 – they’re not beating King Oscars or Riga Golds in my book but they’re unique and provide a great addition to your pantry for when you want a different style.

  9. nfwsletters (verified owner)

    When you get this tin in the mail, you will get Dan’s recommendation to heat them up for improved taste and texture. You may think to yourself, “Whatever.” But I am here to say, don’t listen to that impulse! I wish I’d heated these up, as the texture was slightly off to me. But they were a tasty flavor profile and I do think I liked them.

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