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


Hasumushi / steamed fish with grated lotus root, with light thickened sauce

A comforting steamed fish dish for winter. Enjoy the fresh taste of in-season fish that has been sealed beneath a blanket of grated lotus root. Savory thickened sauce keeps the dish warm, while pungent wasabi brightens the overall tone. Have a spoon ready!

Below is a simple example with petrale sole and dried shiitake mushroom mixed in renkon lotus root. 

1/2 of recipe:
173 calories; 24.5 g protein; 1.6 g fat; 13.6 g carbohydrate; 12.1 g net carbs; 302 mg sodium (when using shoyukoji made with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce); 55 mg cholesterol; 1.5 g fiber


1-2 fillets petrale sole (228 g in photo)
Flour (to dust petrale sole; not in photo)
2 (5 cm square) pieces kombu kelp

1 small section renkon lotus root (116 g in photo)
Rice vinegar (to soak peeled renkon; not in photo)
1/2 egg white
1 hoshi-shiitake dried shiitake mushroom
2 tsp katakuriko potato starch
Pinch salt (0.1g; not in photo)

Wasabi (powder in photo)

For thickened sauce
150 cc dashi (katsuo-kobu bonito-kelp dashi recommended)
1 tsp shoyukoji soy sauce rice malt
1/2 tsp usukuchi soy sauce
1 tsp mirin
1-2 tsp katakuriko potato starch + equal amount of water


Rehydrate dried shiitake.
(In photo, dried shiitake was microwaved in some water for 1 minute and allowed to cool.)

Start boiling water in a steamer.


Peel renkon, and soak in cold water with some rice vinegar for several minutes.
Grate renkon.


Meanwhile, thinly slice rehydrated shiitake.
Chop mitsuba.
Mix wasabi powder with small amount of water.


Divide petrale sole into 2 fillets as necessary, and lightly dust one side (inside) with flour.

Make triangle shape by knotting, and place each on kombu kelp.


Whisk egg white. (Optional; this lightens texture of renkon mixture in final dish.)


Tilt container holding grated renkon, and discard liquid.

Do not squeeze grated renkon; rather, simply hold it, and discard liquid that has naturally pooled.
Add renkon to egg white, and gently mix.


Add salt and katakuriko potato starch, and gently mix.


Add shiitake, and mix.


Top each fish piece with renkon mixture.
Steam for 15 minutes on medium to medium low heat.


Meanwhile, put dashi, soy sauce, shoyukoji and mirin in a pot, and bring to boil.

Add katakuriko + water mixture, a small amount at a time, stir well, and add more as necessary to achieve desired thickness (somewhat looser than maple syrup). 
Keep warm until serving.


(After 15 minutes)
When fish and renkon mixture is done, plate in warm bowls.
Pour sauce, and top with wasabi and mitsuba.

Serve immediately.

  • Steaming ingredients in individual bowls for serving is probably more common.
  • Usually less fish is used per portion (50-70 g each), especially when renkon mixture has more goodies.
  • Make sure to use very fresh fish. Otherwise, a fishy smell and taste comes though at the end. If very fresh fish is not available, try grilled fish. While in-season fresh fish is usually the choice for this dish, grilled (flavored) unagi eel and anago conger eel are also common, for example.
  • Using kelp underneath fish is optional. I use it to make transferring steamed items to bowls easier and to give extra umami to the fish.
  • Other ingredients to mix in renkon lotus root include yurine lily bulb, ginnan gingko nuts, carrot, mild-tasting fresh mushrooms and shrimp.
  • If shoyukoji is not available, soy sauce works. If soy sauce is used, sodium content above will increase by 27 mg with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce and 103 mg with regular soy sauce. When using soy sauce instead of shoyukoji, add a small amount (1/2 tsp) of sake or mirin as well, to make up for the sweetness of shoyukoji.
  • Typically, the color of thickened sauce is very light (gin-an silver sauce) due to use of salt and less soy sauce. Above, the sauce is made with soy sauce (and shoyukoji soy sauce rice malt) to make the dish sodium-savvy.
  • Actual sodium content per serving is less than the above, as some sauce is left in bowls.
  • One final note on sodium: Wasabi paste in a tube contains sodium, while wasabi powder is sodium free.

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