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


Sakana no tattaage-fu / deep-fried ginger-soy sauce marinated fish

A standard deep-fried dish. The ginger in the marinade adds a refreshing note. With a squeeze of lemon, this becomes a great companion for beer in summer.


1-2 fillets fish (150 g rockfish in photo)

For marinade
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sake
1 small knob ginger

2 tbsp potato starch
Oil (for deep-frying, not in photo)
Lemon (for serving)


Debone fish as necessary, and sogigiri slice at a slant into 2cm thick pieces.
Grate ginger.


In a container, add soy sauce and sake, and squeeze in ginger juice.

Put fish pieces, and marinate for 10-20 minutes.
Flip at least once.


Heat oil.

When oil is ready (fine bubbles come up vigorously from the tips of bamboo chopsticks: approx. 175-180 C/350-355 F), pat off excess liquid from fish, coat with potato starch, and gently slip into oil.

When bottom side becomes crispy, flip, and continue cooking until crisp.


Raise heat somewhat, lift fish with one part still immersed in oil to draw it back to pot, remove from oil while lightly shaking off excess, and place on a pan or plate lined with a paper towel.


Serve with lemon wedges.
(Green beans and okra  served together in photo are grilled and lightly sprinkled with salt.)

  • Soy sauce and ginger cover up the fishiness well, making it a good option for strong smelling fish (red or blue flesh) as well as for fish that is looking a bit tired.
  • Tattaage or tatsutaage is a type of karaage [potato starch coated deep-fry]. Real tattaage is made with strong smelling fish such as mackerel and bonito or with chicken; these are typically marinated in soy sauce, sake or mirin and ginger. The dish's name comes from Tatsuta River in Nara, a scenic location for autumn colors. What is the connection? The brownish red tint of the fish or meat is linked with the colors of falls. I call this dish tattaage-fu or tattaage style, since it is made with white fish.
  • Because of being deep-fried and having relatively strong flavor, this is a good choice as a bento box or carry-out picnic item.

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