Gomame, also called tatsukuri is flavored dried anchovies. It is generally considered one of the New Year’s celebration food, but my grandma loved it and made all year round. It is particularly delicious to nibble while drinking sake. It is also great sauce of calcium as you eat whole fish from head to tail, including tiny bones.
Those fish look like niboshi, and they are actually the same fish (anchovies). When anchovies are boiled before dried, they are called niboshi. But when anchovies are just dried without boiling, they are called gomame. You can actually tell the difference by looking at the fish carefully. If the eyes of fish are white (as the photo above), they are niboshi, but if they are black, they are gomame.
This time, I used niboshi, instead of gomame, because gomame anchovy is hard to get in the United States. Niboshi is not as good looking as gomame anchovy, but you can still make gomame-look-alike. When you buy anchovies for this recipe, get smaller size fish, from 1″ to 2″ length.