All recipes are for 2 servings unless noted. Oil is canola oil and salt is kosher salt.


Hakusai to sakana no tochimushi / napa cabbage and fish steamed with black bean paste

Steamed with a Chinese twist.


4-5 hakusai napa cabbage leaves
1-2 fillets (100-200 g) white fish
1 umeboshi pickled plum
1/2 tbsp tochijan black bean paste
1 small knob ginger
1 tbsp sake
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
Pinch black pepper


Mix tochijan, sake, soy sauce and sesame sauce, and grind in black pepper. Set aside.


Diagonally slice white (thick) part of hakusai into 2-3 cm wide strips. (Hold knife at a slanted angle.)

Cut green part into matching size.

On a heat resistant plate, place hakusai, green sections first with white sections on top.


Finely chop ginger.
Cut umeboshi meat into small pieces; discard seed.


Cut fish into 3-4 cm pieces, and place on top of hakusai.
Put umeboshi on fish.

Sprinkle ginger.

Pour tochijan mixture.


Steam over boiling water on high heat, covered, for 10-15 minutes.

  • Somewhat fatty white fish, such as rockfish or ling cod, is a good choice. Cod would taste too plain, and black cod would be too fatty.
  • Fish needs to be very fresh.
  • Hakusai's white section is much firmer and thicker than the green section, and diagonally slicing the white section helps it cook faster and absorb flavor better.
  • Plate is placed on a large cloth (steamer is lined with the large cloth) in the photo for easy removal once done.

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