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


Karei no sotee, horenso-an-kake / sauteed sole with thickened spinach sauce

Crispy fish saute and dashi-based spinach sauce.


200 g karei sole (petrale sole in photo)
Pinch salt (to sprinkle on fish; not in photo)
2-3 tsp sake (to pour over fish; not in photo)
1 tbsp flour
2 tsp olive oil or canola oil (to saute fish; not in photo)

For hotenso-an thickened spinach sauce
Handful (40-50 g) spinach

100 cc dashi
1 tsp usukuchi soy sauce
1 tsp mirin
2 tsp potato starch + 2-3 tsp water (to thicken sauce; not in photo)


Sprinkle salt and pour sake over fish; let sit for 10+ minutes.


Meanwhile, bring water to boil, and blanch spinach.
When color brightens, immediately transfer to ice water to stop cooking.

When cool, squeeze out excess water.


Chop spinach.

Mix potato starch and water.


Saute fish.
Heat oil in a frying pan.

Place fish on a paper towel or pat dry, coat with flour, pat off excess flour, and saute.


While cooking fish, prepare the sauce.
In a small pot, put dashi, usukuchi soy sauce and mirin, and bring to boil.

Add spinach.
When boiling again, swirl in 2/3 of the specified amount of potato starch + water mixture (here I first put it in a ladle, and swirl it in the spinach broth), mix, and add more if necessary.

Taste, and add salt as necessary.

If fish is not done, remove from heat, and heat immediately before fish is ready.


Put fish in individual dishes, and pour spinach sauce.

Serve immediately.

  • I cut up the fish above in order to pile up pieces in individual dishes, but this is optional. Petrale sole can be sauteed as is or cut lengthwise in half and tied in a knot to make it more substantial (knot example with Dover sole: Karei no sotee, gaarikku remon soosu / Dover sole saute with garlic lemon sauce).
  • Make sure you wipe off moisture from fish and pat off excess flour before sauteing – these are the keys to a light, crispy result.
  • Ideally, add spinach to the sauce and quickly finish it immediately before fish is done. Cooking for a longer time makes spinach look dull and unappealing.
  • This sauce is light, and it goes better with lean fish such as cod and sole.
  • Add yuzu citron or lemon zest or peel if available. The aroma takes this dish to the next level. 

(Last updated: March 13, 2018)

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