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


Karei no nitsuke / sole simmered in reduced broth

A typical dish for many families, and perhaps the top dish in my mom's fish repertoire. Great as part of a meal and with sake.

174 calories (1/2 of recipe); 23.5 g protein; 1.4 g fat; 13.2 g carbohydrate; 10.0 g net carbs; 444 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 786 mg with regular soy sauce); 52 mg cholesterol; 3.2 g fiber (see Notes on sodium figures)


2 fillets karei petrale sole (220 g in photo)
1/2 gobo burdock root
Tiny handful greens (saishin yu choy sum in photo)
1 small knob ginger

For broth
200 cc water
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp mirin
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce


Julienne ginger.
Cut gobo into 3 cm, cut in half lengthwise, and soak in water for 5 minutes or so.


Cut sole in half (optional), and place on zaru strainer.
Bring water to boil, and pour over sole (both sides).


In a frying pan or shallow pan, put all ingredients for broth as well as sole and gobo, taking care not to let them overlap. 

Bring to boil, place otoshibuta drop cover directly on top, and cook on high to medium high heat until liquid is reduced to one-third, about 10 minutes.


In the meantime, blanch greens, and cut into 3-4 cm.


Remove otoshibuta, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for a few more minutes while scooping up liquid and pouring over sole and gobo.


Serve in shallow bowls, pour broth over, and garnish with ginger.

  • Fish sold in Japan usually comes with skin (scaled). If using such fish, cut the skin crisscross to prevent shrinkage and also for flavor absorption.
  • Pouring boiling water over fish is another method of shimofuri frosting. Since skinned petrale sole easily breaks apart, boiling water is poured over instead of blanching the fish.
  • Ginger can be put in broth instead of being used as a garnish. When put in broth, ginger can be thinly sliced or simply smashed. Thinly sliced ginger can be served, but smashed ginger should be removed at the end for aesthetic reasons.
  • Gobo is a common companion for fish nitsuke, but it is optional.
  • Nitsuke is a technique where ingredients, typically fish, are cooked for a short time in a small amount of relatively sweet and strong soy sauce-flavored broth.   
  • Fresh fish is the key for this dish. While strongly flavored, the broth cannot totally cover up the fishy smell of previously frozen fish.
  • If greens are cold, add to the broth at the end to warm them up.
  • For greens, any leafy greens or snow peas and sugar peas work. 
  • Actual sodium intake is about 100-140 mg less with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce (200-280 mg less with regular soy sauce), depending on type of fish and how much broth is reduced.

(Last updated: January 10, 2015)

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