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


Sakana no oisutaasoosu-ni, howajao-iri / simmered fish in oyster sauce-flavored broth with Sichuan peppers

A light nitsuke simmered dish with a Chinese twist. Sichuan peppercorns impart a gentle, tingling sensation. As fish by itself is a bit lonesome, a couple of vegetables and mushrooms are added to complement each other. 

1/2 of recipe:
114 calories; 17.1 g protein; 0.7 g fat; 10.5 g carbohydrate; 7.3 g net carbs; 196 mg sodium (with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce; 235 mg with regular soy sauce); 46 mg cholesterol; 3.2 g fiber


1-2 fillet white-flesh fish (160 g tara cod in photo)
2-3cm daikon radish (106 g in photo)
Small handful mushrooms (2 small/62 g eringi king oyster mushrooms and tiny handful/56 g maitake mushrooms in photo)
4 outer leaves of chingensai baby bok choy (74 g)

For broth
Approx. 20 hua jiao Sichuan peppercorns
200 cc water
1 tbsp sake
1/2 tbsp mirin
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp kurozu brown rice vinegar
1 taka no tsume red chili pepper (slices)


In a pot, put Sichuan peppercorns and toast on low or medium low heat until fragrant.


Meanwhile, skin daikon, cut lengthwise into 4 or 6, and slice into 1cm thick.
Tear maitake into smaller bunches. Slice eringi into smaller pieces.
Divide chingensai into whitish, thicker sections and green upper sections, and cut lengthwise in half.


When Sichuan peppercorns are aromatic, pour water, put daikon, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes.


Add all seasonings and fish.

Place otoshibuta drop cover directly on top of fish, and simmer until broth is reduced by half, about 10 minutes.

While simmering, occasionally tilt pot, scoop broth, and pour over fish for even flavoring.


Remove otoshibuta, add eringi and maitake, and continue simmering until mushrooms are cooked through while occasionally scooping and pouring broth over fish and mushrooms.


Serve in bowls or on plates (goodies only).


Add chingensai to pot, cover, and simmer until done, for 1 minute or so.


Serve chingensai, and pour broth over ingredients.
Ready to serve.

  • An otoshibuta drop cover placed directly over fish helps to circulate broth so it covers fish. Nitsuke are simmered dishes where ingredients are cooked with a small amount of broth, and drop covers are almost always used.
  • This requires very fresh fish. The seasonings are on the light end, and they cannot mask the smell or taste of deteriorating fish.
  • If you are uncertain about your fish's freshness, first saute it (with or without flour/potato starch). The oil covers up any decline in taste and smell nicely while adding a rich note to the dish. Sautéing first also helps if your fish tends to crumble in broth (such as with sole).
  • In terms of adding a rich taste, ingredients other than fish can also be sautéed first (daikon in the above recipe).
  • It is OK to have fish only, but adding at least one vegetable or mushroom is highly recommended -- it does improve the overall taste. If I had to choose only one vegetable, I would select something green (tomyo pea shoots work great, for example). Among mushrooms, enoki is the other great option for this dish. If only a small amount of ingredients or watery ingredients are added, use less water (150-180 cc instead of 200 cc above).
  • The above nutrition figures are based on non-consumption of broth served with solid ingredients in bowls/plates. The broth is to keep the ingredients hot, not for consumption.

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