Sakana no nitsuke is a delicious fish dish simmered in a flavourful sauce consisting of classic Japanese ingredients such as soy sauce, sake, mirin and ginger. This recipe can be used for all different kinds of fish, it's a must try for fish lovers!
Sakana no Nitsuke
What is Sakana no Nitsuke?
Sakana no nitsuke is a classic way to cook fish in Japan. The word sakana (魚) means fish and nitsuke (煮つけ) means "to simmer".
You can use a whole fish or fillet for this recipe.
Japanese simmered fish is most commonly served with white rice, miso soup and a vegetable side dish.
Sakana no nitsuke sauce
In sakana no nitsuke, the fish is always simmered in a traditional Japanese style sauce that contains the following ingredients:
- Soy sauce
The ratio of each ingredient vary from recipe to recipe, but these are the key ingredients you will need. I usually try to recommend alternatives (for example, dry sherry for sake etc) but for Sakana no Nitsuke, I think it's important to maintain an authentic Japanese flavour and stick to proper Japanese ingredients.
Types of fish used for Sakana no Nitsuke
I know, "simmered fish" is a pretty vague name, right? But that's because you can use many kinds of fish for this recipe!
First, we blanch the fish which means swilling it in freshly boiled water, then we wash it under cold water. This method removes any unpleasant fishy-ness and improves the taste. It's then simmered in the Japanese sauce which compliments and improves the taste even more!
Here is a list of some fish I'd recommend using for Sakana no Nitsuke:
This is definitely not an exclusive list, just some ideas! Sakana no Nitsuke is usually best made with white fish. Let me know in the comments if you have success with other kinds of fish!
In this recipe, I'll be using a traditional Japanese cooking tool. It's called an "otoshibuta". Let me tell you more about it and why we use it.
What is an Otoshibuta drop-lid?
An Otoshibuta (落し蓋) is a traditional Japanese cooking tool used for simmering. The word "otoshi" (落し) means to drop, and futa (蓋) becomes "buta" which means lid. The small round lid sits on top the simmering liquid, helping evenly distribute the heat around the food.
When the liquid is bubbling, the drop lid prevents large bubbles (the weight and contact with the liquid simply pops them) so delicate ingredients such as flakey fish are far less likely to break.
Drop lids are usually made from wood, but stainless steal and silicone drop lids are also popular. The size of the steel ones can often be adjusted to fit different pans too!
How to make Otoshibuta
You can also make your own drop lid using aluminum foil or strong baking paper!
STEP ONE Break off a square piece of the baking paper or aluminum foil a little bigger than your pan.
STEP TWO Fold it in half to make a rectangle, then in half again the other way to make a square.
STEP THREE Fold the square in half diagonally to make a triangle, then fold again so that one of the shorter edges is along the long edge.
STEP FOUR Cut off the point to create a hole in the middle.
STEP FIVE Hold the point in the middle of the pan and use the edge of the base as a measure. Cut a curve around the top.
Open it out and it's complete!
I hope you enjoy this delicious Japanese style of cooking fish! And if you liked this dish, you might like some of the other fish recipes on my blog.Print