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


Petoraaru karei no kinome-miso-yaki / grilled petrale sole with kinome sansho miso

Sweet and salty miso paste with pungent kinome sansho leaves is one of the seasonal choices for topping grilled dishes in early summer. Below, it is paired with petrale sole, a local fish with a delicate texture and mellow taste that goes really well with the spicy citrus tang of sansho.

1/2 of recipe:
109 calories; 19.4 g protein; 2.0 g fat; 1.8 g carbohydrate; 1.4 g net carbs; 197 mg sodium; 47 mg cholesterol; 0.4 g fiber 


1-2 fillets petrale sole (195 g in photo)

For kinome miso (miso paste with sansho leaves)
2 tsp Saikyo miso
1 tsp sake
1/4 tsp tahini
7-8 kinome young sansho leaves
1/8-1/4 tsp aoyose chlorophyll


Prepare miso mixture base.
Microwave sake for 5+ seconds to let out alcohol, and mix well with miso and tahini.

Microwave miso mixture for 5+ seconds until the edge gently bubbles, and mix well.
Set aside.  


Cut petrale sole as necessary.
Sprinkle flour on inner side, and tie to form a knot.


Cook in frying pan lined with parchment paper on medium low heat.
To obtain a crispy surface, wipe off any excess liquid coming from fish.

When lower 1/2 to 2/3 is done (turns opaque), flip, cover, and continue cooking.

Wipe off excess liquid again from time to time.


Meanwhile, grind in a suribachi mortar all sansho leaves other than those for garnish.

Add miso mixture, and mix well.

Add aoyose, and mix well.
Add more aoyose as necessary to achieve desired color.
Kinome miso is ready.  


Spread kinome miso on fish, and singe the top with a propane torch.


Plate, and garnish with sansho leaves.

Ready to serve (with pickled beet root in sweetened vinegar, in photo).

  • Sansho leaves can be finely chopped instead of grinding.
  • Aoyose is used to obtain a greener color and is optional. If not at hand, grind/puree a small amount of fresh spinach or any soft-tasting vivid green leafy vegetable (soft leaves only), and add to the miso mixture. (See takenoko no kinomeae [bamboo shoot in sansho leaf miso dressing].)
  • Any miso you prefer works fine. Adjust the amount of sake, or add mirin or sugar according to the miso you use. No mirin or sugar is added above, as Saikyo miso is very mellow and sweet.
  • Saikyo miso has one of the lowest sodium contents among miso available at stores. Other miso could easily double the sodium figure above.
  • Tahini is added for a richer note. Egg yolk is usually added to the miso base (1 egg yolk per 5-6 tbsp white miso) for that effect. When making only a small amount, sesame paste is easier.
  • The fish can be grilled from the beginning. Put the miso mixture when fish is done, then put it back in oven for a short time. (Photo at right: Fish was cooked on stove, then placed in oven for briefly broiling.)
  • Above, I skipped one prep process for fish (lightly salting, letting it sit for 10 minutes, wiping off moisture before cooking) because fish was very fresh.
  • If your fish shows any sign of not being really fresh, saute or grill it with oil (after sprinkling salt and wiping off excess moisture) to mask the deteriorating smell.

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