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


Chirimushi / steamed fish, tofu, vegetables and mushrooms, with citrus-flavored soy sauce

A very light main dish with white fish, tofu and vegetables served with ponzujoyu citrus-flavored soy sauce. Great when you want something gentle that has a refreshing taste.


150-200 g white fish (rock cod in photo)
1/3 kinugoshi soft tofu
2 leaves hakusai napa cabbage
Handful (100 g) shungiku garland chrysanthemum
Handful mushrooms (2 shiitake and 1/3 pack shimeji mushrooms)
2 squares of kombu kelp (large enough to place fish; four 4 cm x 10 cm pieces in photo)
1 tbsp sake
Salt (to sprinkle on fish and blanch vegetables; not in photo)

Ponzujoyu citrus-flavored soy sauce (for serving; not in photo)
Daikon radish, grated (for serving; not in photo)


Cut fish in half as necessary, sprinkle salt, and let sit for at least 10 minutes (up to overnight).


Cut off root ends of shimeji.
Remove shiitake’s stems and tear in half if thick (do not throw away stems; they are also going into the dish).
Make cuts on shiitake surface, if desired.


Bring water to boil, add pinch salt, and blanch hakusai.

When white sections become somewhat translucent, transfer to zaru strainer, and let cool. 


In the same pot, blanch shungiku.
Put stem ends in boiling water first, then leaves.

When color somewhat brightens, immediately transfer to ice water to stop cooking.


When hakusai and shungiku are cool, squeeze out excess water, and cut into 3-4 cm.


In a steamable container, place kombu, put fish on top, and add tofu (cut in half) and mushrooms in the open space.
Pour sake over ingredients, especially fish.


Steam for 4-5 minutes until fish is opaque and mushrooms are basically done.

Put hakusai and shungiku in the open space, cover, and steam for 1-2 minutes more until vegetables are hot.


Place on warm plates, and pour over cooking liquid.


Serve hot with ponzujoyu and grated daikon.
(Grated daikon in photo has red chili pepper bits).

  • Fresh fish is the key. If you use bony parts, “frost” the fish shimofuri style (quickly blanch fish, chill in ice water, and clean as necessary) before steaming.
  • Tara cod is the standard fish for this dish (which is called tarachiri when cod is used). Any fresh white fish is fine.
  • Cutting the surface of shiitake is optional. Besides being decorative, the cuts make shiitake cook faster (and absorb flavor better when cooked in broth).
  • To prevent discoloration, do not steam for a long time after putting green vegetables.
  • Any mild flavored mushrooms and vegetables work for this dish.
  • The name, chirimushi, comes from chirinabe hot pot where white fish, tofu and vegetables are cooked in kobudashi (water and kombu kelp) and eaten with ponzujoyu. Chiri is said to come from chiri chiri, an onomatopoeic expression that describes the fish shrinking while cooking in hot dashi.

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