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


Warabi, konnyaku, satsumaage no itameni / saute-simmered bracken, konnyaku yam cake and deep-fried fishcake in broth

Somewhat crunchy warabi bracken makes a good contrast to tender fishcake and soft yet chewy konnyaku yam cake. A tasty, low-key companion for plain steamed rice and sake.


100-150 g warabi bracken (125g in photo; salt-preserved bracken soaked at least overnight)
2 small or 1 large satsumaage deep-fried fishcakes
3-4 cm konnyaku yam cake
1 tsp sesame oil

For broth
100 cc dashi
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp mirin
1/2 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce


Pour boiling water over satsumaage to get rid of excess oil.
If using vacuum-packed satsumaage, boil and drain.
Thinly slice (3 mm) satsumaage.

Cut warabi into 3-4 cm. 

Cut konnyaku into match-like sticks. First slice 3 mm thick, then cut a stack of a few slices into sticks 3mm thick.

Boil konnyaku for 1-2 minutes, and drain.


In a pot, saute konnyaku without oil on medium low heat to get rid of excess water.

When konnyaku surface starts to look somewhat dry, add sesame oil, and saute.
When konnyaku is coated with sesame oil, add warabi and satsumaage, and saute.


When all ingredients are coated with sesame oil, add all ingredients for broth, and simmer until liquid is almost gone.

  • This tastes good hot or at room temperature, and keeps in the fridge for a few days.
  • If fresh bracken (prep-cooked) is used, reduce the amount of dashi, as fresh bracken tends to soften quickly.
  • Boiling konnyaku first is to eliminate the smell of coagulant. (Konkyaku that does not require this process is also available in Japan; it is labeled on package.) Sauteing konnyaku without oil dries it out somewhat, helping it to absorb flavor. If you do not want to go through this two-step preparation, do oil-free sauteing only. It does improve the flavor of the final dish, even if it is not readily apparent—just take it on faith.
  • Satsumaage is the key ingredient in terms of flavoring of this dish. If you do not want any fish taste or aroma, substitute usuage deep-fried tofu for satsumaaage.

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