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


Kyabetsu to satsumaage no itameni / saute-simmered cabbage and deep-fried fishcakes

The “green” taste of cabbage’s outer leaves turns sweet from sauteing and is further softened by cooking with satsumaage in broth, resulting in a juicy, flavorful dish.


3-4 cabbage leaves
2 small satsumaage fishcakes
1 tbsp iriko dried young sardines
1/2 tsp oil (not in photo)

For broth
200 cc dashi
2 tbsp sake
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp usukuchi soy sauce


Pour boiling water over satsumaage (or prep-boil satsumaage if coming in a vacuum pack).


Vertically cut cabbage into 4 (making sure to cut through tough center part), and horizontally cut into strips 2cm wide.
Cut satumaage into 1cm-wide pieces.


In a pot, put all ingredients for broth (dashi, sake, mirin and usukuchi soy sauce), bring to boil, add satsumaage, and simmer on medium low heat for 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, toast iriko without oil in a frying pan.

When iriko is toasty, add oil, and saute tougher sections of cabbage (leaves with tougher part) on medium heat.

When somewhat translucent, add remaining cabbage leaves, and continue sauteing. 


When cabbage's green color brightens overall, add to satsumaage pot.

Simmer for a few minutes until cabbage softens somewhat.
Ready to serve.

  • Satsumaage that comes in vacuum packs (more widely available in the US) tends to be greasy; boiling for 1-2 minutes beforehand significantly improves the taste.
  • Outer cabbage leaves taste better with this dish. The yellowish/whitish inner leaves toward the core impart a sweeter, softer note but lack the “green” taste that contrasts well with satsumaage and broth.
  • Toasting iriko without oil eliminates the fishy smell and taste.

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