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


Menuke to takenoko no nitsuke / rock cod and bamboo shoot in reduced broth

One of the standard quick dishes when you have really fresh fish. Nitsuke is cooked with a relatively small amount of strong-flavored broth, and tastes substantial. While fish is often the only principal ingredient, pairing it with an in-season vegetable adds a pleasant layer of aroma and flavor. Very early-season takenoko bamboo shoot is used here. The broth is for a low-sodium diet; for a conventional recipe, see karei no nitsuke (sole simmered in reduced broth).

1/2 of recipe:
173 calories; 27.3 g protein; 2.2 g fat; 8.4 g carbohydrate; 6.2 g net carbs; 355 mg sodium (when using 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce and shoyukoji made with 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce); 54 mg cholesterol; 2.2 g fiber


1-2 fillets menuke red rock cod (258 g in photo)
1 small boiled takenoko bamboo shoot (138 g)
Small handful greens (40 g kabu Japanese turnip leaves in photo)

For broth
200 cc water
1 tbsp sake
1 tsp mirin
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp shoyukoji soy sauce rice malt
1/4 tsp rice vinegar

Boil water for shimofuri "frosting" of fish.


In a pot, put all ingredients for broth, and bring to boil.


Meanwhile, cut and debone fish as necessary, place on zaru strainer, and pour over boiling water to shimofuri or frost and seal surface.


Cut takenoko lengthwise into eight sections.
Cut kabu leaves into 3-4 cm.


When broth boils, place fish and takenoko in a single layer.
Place otoshibuta drop cover directly on ingredients, and cook on medium high heat until liquid is reduced to 1/3, for 10-15 minutes.


In the meantime, place kabu leaves in a microwaveable container, cover, and microwave for 30 seconds or so, until color brightens.
Remove cover, and let hot air escape.


Remove otoshibuta drop cover, reduce heat somewhat, and cook for another several minutes while scooping broth and pouring over fish and takenoko for even flavoring.


Plate with kabu leaves.
Serve hot.

  • If kabu leaves are not available, any leafy green works fine.
  • Relatively plain white-flesh fish is a good choice for this dish. Other than menuke rock cod, petrale sole, lingcod and kinki channel rockfish are my top choices.
  • If shoyukoji is not at hand, soy sauce works fine (it would add about 50 mg sodium when using 50% reduced-sodium soy sauce). When using soy sauce only (replacing shoyukoji with soy sauce), increase mirin somewhat (to 2 tsp or so), as shoyukoji tastes both salty and sweet.
  • If mirin (sweet sake) is not available, a small amount of brown sugar works great.
  • Ginger (sliced or julienned) is a nice addition for a fresh note.
  • The actual sodium content consumed would be less than the above figure, as some broth will be left in pot and  bowls.


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