Archives for category: Fish

Tai is the name for Sea Bream in Japanese. Meshi means rice and this simple yet beautiful dish is basically Sea Bream rice. The fish is cleaned, scales removed and simmered in a pot with rice, ginger and dashi stock. Very healthy and easy to make and although I forgot to include Mitsuba which would have really made the dish, it was still perfect. The recipe was kindly shared by a good friend Yuko and her knowledge of fish dishes is huge so I love getting simple recipes and trying them. Although this is usually considered a very special dish, made on occasions like birthdays and New Year, I made this on a weekday for lunch with friends. Soaking Konbu in water first, adding some Japanese seasonings and cooking the fish with the bones really gives such an incredible flavour and the key is to remove the bones and mix gently before serving. Mitsuba, the Japanese Parsley really would have been great thrown on top before serving but hey, next time…

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The Joy of Cooking with Friends… presents Aji no nanbanzuke. Thanks to Yuka from the trippplenipples and Make Believe’s own Amber Joy, as the Tokyo summer gave us one last day of beautiful sun and glory,  we had an afternoon of wine, cooking and made some classic Japanese dishes with Yuka’s help. This really deserves to be shared and can easily be made with a few key ingredients.

Nanbanzuke is a Japanese dish with meat or fish that has been deep fried and marinated in a sweet vinegar sauce. The Aji you can’t really see in the picture is a type of fish, horse mackerel to be precise, which is what we used, together with sliced vegetables and a lovely sweet marinade.

Yuka took charge of the fish which needed some preparation and a little clean, while Amber sliced away and I helped make the dashi. A video here on how to cut and clean Aji the whole way, although for this dish removing the head, innards and fins is fine. It is great in summer as has a refreshing note to it and even though this was the first time making it I will definitely be making this again. Even in winter this is a perfect part of any meal.

Try another white fish or salmon if you like and you can cut the fish or deep fry the whole fillet as we did. Making the marinade, allowing it cool while chopping some vegetables, deep frying the fish and putting it in a plate for a few hours is all this takes. Although best served after all the yummy sweet vinegar has had time to be infused with the fish, it is also great as soon as you’ve made it too. Without the depth of flavor that marinating gives you but SO fresh and deeply enjoyable nonetheless.

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Another quick bite here. I am thinking of having a section just on toast as it’s so simple to make wherever you are, supposedly takes us back to childhood and can easily be jazzed up.

I keep fresh Dill in the freezer as it’s pretty expensive to buy here in Tokyo from regular supermarkets for such a little amount. Buying it from the Thai supermarkets here in bulk for about 200 yen, washing, drying and popping in a plastic tub from the hundred yen store as I do with some other herbs, it’s then on hand for throwing into dishes as I please.

Here, scrambled eggs with the smoked salmon on the toast, a quick squeeze of fresh lemon over, drizzle of avocado oil, and black charcoal salt, pepper and the dill thrown over make a lovely light lunch. Packed with protein will keep you from going hungry till dinner so no need to snack too!

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A traditional Japanese meal here and perfect brunch for me to start my Sunday.

Sanma fish, known as Pacific Saury or Mackerel Pike depending on which dictionary you use, is a real Autumn fish here in Japan. It is very protein rich and simple to grill as needs no preparation. Some other ways it can be served are nicely shown here.

I like to put a bit of water in the grill since the fish is quite fatty and as the fish oils drip in the grill this prevents the oils from spluttering and getting too hot and also makes your grill much easier to clean after you’ve eaten.

Served with some tofu and leek Miso soup, Japanese rice and nori seaweed are the perfect accompaniments and I find fresh lemon is enough to compliment the fish.

While the fish is being grilled on a high heat for about 5-10 minutes, it only needs turning once when the skin is nicely brown and depending on the size of the fish needs a bit longer, you can boil water for the soup, add some dashi stock, chopped leek, stir in the miso paste and tofu and add some ichimi if you like.

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