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


Sakana to konsai no amazuan / fish and root vegetables with sweet and sour sauce

This is basically a fish version of sweet and sour subuta pork, without onion. As fish requires minimum prep flavoring, both calories and sodium are lower than the pork version, yet it is very filling and quite yummy.

1/2 of recipe:
250 calories; 21.9 g protein; 10.0 g fat; 16.2 g carbohydrate; 13.6 g net carbs; 372 mg sodium (with reduced-sodium soy sauce; 525 mg with regular soy sauce); 64 mg cholesterol; 2.6 g fiber


180-220 g white-flesh fish (220 g rock cod in photo)
Salt and pepper (for prep of fish; not in photo)
Katakuriko potato starch (to deep-fry fish; not in photo)
Oil (to deep-fry fish; not in photo)

1/2 carrot (36 g in photo)
2-3 cm renkon lotus root (68 g in photo)
3 shiitake mushrooms (34 g in photo)
8 small shishito Japanese peppers (20g)
1/2 ripe roma tomato (42 g in photo)
1 small clove garlic
1 small knob ginger
1 tsp oil

For seasoning
2 tsp soy sauce (reduced-sodium soy sauce in photo)
1 tbsp rice vinegar + kurozu brown rice vinegar (equal parts)
1/2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1/2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp chicken stock
1 tsp katakuriko potato starch + 1 tsp water
1/4 tsp shiokoji salted rice malt


Sogigiri slice fish at a slant, sprinkle salt (1/2 tsp max.), grind black pepper, and let sit for 10 minutes.


Rangiri diagonally cut renkon lotus root, and soak in cold water. Rangiri cut carrot.
Cut shishito diagonally in half.
Remove discolored stem ends of shiitake, cut off stems (don't discard; stems are edible), and cut or tear umbrella into 4.
Grate tomato, discarding skin.
Finely chop garlic and ginger.


Place renkon and carrot in a microwaveable container, and microwave for 40-50 seconds.

Uncover, and let hot air escape.


Mix all ingredients for seasoning, except for shiokoji.


Heat oil in a frying pan.
Wipe off moisture on fish surface.

Thinly coat with potato starch.
Pat off excess potato starch.
When oil temperature is high enough (very fine bubbles come out from the tips of bamboo chopsticks immersed in oil; higher than 180C/356F), deep-fry fish. 

When crisp, remove from oil, and place on a plate lined with paper towels.


In another frying pan, heat oil, and saute garlic and ginger on medium low heat until fragrant.


Add renkon, carrot, shiitake and shishito, and stir to coat surfaces with oil.
Cover, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Remove shishito to a plate.


Move vegetables to one side of frying pan, add tomato to the open space, and saute until somewhat dry and similar to paste.


Mix seasoning mixture well, and pour into frying pan.

Stir well until seasoning thickens somewhat.


Add fish, and stir.


Taste, and add shiokoji as necessary (1/4 tsp max.).


Put back shishito, and mix.
Ready to serve.

  • If your fish is super fresh, you can skip the salt in the prep step before deep-frying. If you do, the sodium content in the final dish would be 319 mg (472 mg with regular soy sauce) per serving. Of the salt sprinkled on a fish fillet, 75% or more is absorbed after 10 minutes.
  • When renkon and carrot are microwaved together for the same length of time, renkon usually becomes softer. To achieve similar softness, first microwave carrot only for 15-20 seconds, add renkon, and microwave for another 30 seconds or so.
  • Tomato is optional. If grating it is too much work, you can simply skip it or use 1/2 tsp ketchup.
  • Potato starch tends to sink to the bottom in the seasoning mixture. Make sure to stir the mixture well before adding it to a hot frying pan.
  • Shishito is removed from the frying pan in the middle because it tends to take on a brownish hue  from vinegar. An appetizing bright green color is the goal in the final dish.
  • If shishito is not available, green pepper works fine.
  • This can be prepared halfway through (prep veggies and deep-fry fish) in advance. The finishing part goes very fast.
  • Adding onion turns this into a subuta-like dish. For the above recipe, 1/4 of an onion should be enough.
  • I use homemade chicken stock. Store-bought chicken stock is generally high in sodium.

(Last updated: January 24, 2014)

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