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


Shinjo no shiso-hasami-yaki / fried fishcake in perilla leaves

Shinjo or fluffy fishcakes sandwiched by perilla leaves are fried for a crispy outer crust and creamy inside texture.  Both shiso perilla and egoma perilla leaves work great.

1/2 of recipe:  137 calories; 10.0 g protein; 4.3 g fat; 12.1 g carbohydrate; 11.1 g net carbs; 232 mg sodium; 31 mg cholesterol; 0.7 g fiber

For shinjo fishcakes/fish dumplings
130 g sakana no surimi ground fish paste
1 tbsp additive-free tonyu soy milk
2 tsp potato starch
1 tsp shrimp flakes (optional)
2-3 cm renkon lotus root (37 g in photo; optional)

For boiling shinjo
Water (not in photo)
1 tbsp sake
Pinch salt

12 shiso or egoma perilla leaves (egoma in photo)
3 tbsp flour
100 cc water
Some flour to dust shinjo (not in photo)
2 tsp sesame oil (for frying; not in photo)
1 tsp ponzujoyu citrus soy sauce + 1 tsp dashi (for serving, not in photo)


Skin renkon, and soak in water to prevent discoloration.
Drain after 4-5 minutes.


Put surimi ground fish in suribachi mortar, add potato starch, and mix well.

Add soy milk and shrimp flakes, and mix well.

Chop renkon, add to surimi mixture, and mix well.
Form dumplings, and place each on a piece of parchment paper.


In a pot, put plenty of water, sake and salt, and place dumplings.

Bring to boil; once boiling, reduce heat somewhat, and cook for a few minutes. 
Flip dumplings, and cook another minute or two.
Remove dumplings from hot water.
Slice dumplings.


Lightly dust both sides of dumplings with flour. 
Wrap dumpling slices with perilla leaves.


In a tray, mix water and flour for batter.
Flour and water do not need to be perfectly incorporated.

Heat sesame oil in frying pan or griddle.


Dip sandwiched dumplings in batter, and gently shake off excess batter.

Fry on medium to medium low heat.
When bottom is done, flip, and cook the other side. 
When done, transfer to a tray lined with paper towels to eliminate excess oil.


Serve hot with ponzujoyu + dashi mixture.

  • If sodium intake is not a concern, fish dumplings can simply be microwaved or steamed. Boiling them is to eliminate excess sodium before moving to the following step.
  • Soy sauce diluted with dashi and grated ginger (and grated daikon radish) is another good dipping sauce for this dish.
  • Renkon lotus root is to give a contrasting crunchy texture.
  • It would taste richer when a small amount of whole egg or egg yolk is added to batter.
  • This can be prepared as tempura.
  • Dumplings can be prepared (up to boiling or slicing) ahead of time, even a day before.

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