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


Sakana no sotee, ume-shiso soosu / fish saute with plum-perilla sauce

Softly sour and refreshing umeboshi pickled plum sauce with shiso perilla leaves is a popular choice when the weather turns warm. It brightens the heavy taste of oil used in cooking while stimulating your appetite at those times you do not feel like eating because of heat or fatigue.


1-2 fillets fish (220 g rockfish in photo)
1 umeboshi pickled plum
2 shiso perilla leaves (1 for sauce, 1 for garnish)
1 tbsp sake + mirin (equal parts)
1/2 tsp soy sauce
Salt and pepper (to sprinkle on fish; not in photo)
1 tsp oil (for sauteing fish; not in photo)


Cut fish as desired, sprinkle salt and pepper, and let sit for 10+ minutes.


Meanwhile, prepare sauce and garnish.
Julienne 1 shiso leaf for garnish, and set aside; with the other shiso leaf for sauce, cut lengthwise into 3 or 4 and then thinly slice crosswise.
Finely chop umeboshi flesh.

In a small bowl, put umeboshi, sake, mirin and soy sauce, and mix well.
Add thin, short slices of shiso, and mix well. 


Saute fish.
In a frying pan, heat oil. Wipe moisture off fish surface, put in frying pan beginning with the side that will be presented face-up on plates, and saute on medium heat.

When fish turns opaque halfway from the bottom, flip, and continue sauteing. 

When fish is done, transfer to plates.


In the same frying pan, add ume-shiso mixture and quickly mix, heating the mixture through and evaporating alcohol.


Put ume-shiso sauce over fish, and garnish with julienned shiso leaf.

  • Ume-shiso sauce or a combination of umeboshi and shiso is common for fish, especially oily aozakana [lit. blue fish] such as sardines and mackerel, as well as for chicken and pork.
  • While generally salty and sour, the taste of umeboshi differs significantly by brand. Adjust the amount of other seasonings for the sauce accordingly. In the above case, sake softens the sauce, mirin adds sweetness, and soy sauce contributes an aromatic salty taste and depth to the sauce. If unsure about your umeboshi, first add sake or mirin only, and taste.
  • The ume-shiso sauce above can also be made looser and added to the fish in the frying pan when done, in order to coat the fish.

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