Sakana no nitsuke recipe

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In Japanese cooking, simmering (ni) is a very important method of cooking. For the non-Japanese, the idea of simmering may imply slow-cooking stews, but in Japan simmered dishes are prepared ever so quickly. Nitsuke refers to a simmering broth made of sake, soy sauce, mirin and dashi used primarily with fish. A quintessential, everyday cooking Japanese broth, Nitsuke takes only a few minutes to make but will bring tons of flavour to your cooking.

  • Yield: 2 Servings


  • 1 quantity of Nitsuke Broth
  • 2 halibut steaks (about 150 g/5½ oz each), skin on
  • 4 tbsp sake (optional)
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 4 Padron peppers
  • Maldon sea salt flakes
  • 2 root ginger slices, 3 mm (1/8 inch) thick, 4 cm (1½ inches) in diameter, cut into very fine julienne
  • 4 rectangular pieces of silken tofu
How to Make It
  1. Make the Nitsuke Broth. Make a cartouche by cutting a circle of baking (parchment) paper, which should be slightly smaller than the pan you will be using. Make a small tear or vent in the middle of the cartouche.
  2. Baste the halibut steaks in the sake and let them steep in it for at least 30 minutes. This will help to eliminate any fish smells.
  3. Bring the Nitsuke Broth to the boil. As the sauce reaches boiling point, carefully place the pieces of fish in the pan (the fish should be almost completely submerged in the sauce, or else the pan is too wide), and immediately cover with the prepared cartouche. Turn the heat down, and simmer very gently for 6-8 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the sunflower oil in a small frying pan (skillet) and fry the Padron peppers until softened, lightly blackened and blistered. Season with the sea salt flakes.
  5. Carefully transfer the fish to 2 separate serving bowls and pour a few tablespoons of the Nitsuke Broth over them. Top with the julienned ginger and place two Padron peppers and two pieces of silken tofu beside the fish on each plate. Serve immediately.

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