We are making an all-time favorite, Karei no Nitsuke, a simmered fish recipe. In this cooking method, you can also cook other fish such as mebaru, kinmedai, kinki, hirame and marlin. Dip the tender meat in the broth and enjoy the delicious dish!
First, let’s prepare the karei fish, a type of flatfish also known as righteye flounder.
Scrape both sides of the fish with a knife, removing the scales.
Remove the moisture with a paper towel.
Make shallow cuts in an X pattern in the skin to help cook the inside.
If the egg sacks are large, detach them from the meat to avoid under-cooking.
In order to get the correct temperature to cook the fish, bring one liter of water to a boil and add another third liter of water. This will bring the temperature down to about 80 °C (176 °F).
Place the karei fish onto a mesh strainer and submerge it in the hot water.
When the surface turns slightly white, immediately place it into a bowl of cold water.
This will help to reduce the unwanted fishy flavor and make it easy to remove the remaining scales.
Next, submerge the egg sacks in the hot water and place them onto a tray.
Gently rinse the karei fish. These procedures are important to make delicious simmered fish so please don’t skip them.
Finally, remove the excess moisture with a paper towel.
And now, slice the burdock root into 3 mm (0.1") slices using diagonal cuts.
Lightly rinse the root and strain it with a mesh strainer.
Now, let’s make the broth. In a pan, combine the water, sake, sugar, mirin and soy sauce.
Add the ginger root slices. Stir to combine and heat the broth on medium heat.
When it reaches a rolling boil, add the egg sacks and the karei fish.
Make sure to bring the broth to a boil before adding the fish. This will help to remove any unwanted flavor.
And next add the burdock root.
Bring it to a boil again and ladle the broth over the karei fish.
Then, remove the foam with a mesh strainer.
Place a sheet of parchment paper onto the karei fish and weight the paper down with a drop-lid or pie plate.
It is important that the fish is always submerged in the broth while simmering.
Simmer for about 10 minutes and remove the lid and the parchment paper.
Ladle the broth over again and then reduce.
Now, it is ready.
Turn off the burner and place the egg sacks onto a plate.
The meat of karei fish is fragile so gently place it onto the plate.
Place the burdock root next to it.
Pour over a generous amount of the broth.
Finally, garnish with the shredded ginger root and the kinome, young leaves of sansho pepper.
Mirin will help keep the delicate fish in its original shape while simmering and also create a glossy texture, making it visually appealing.
Burdock and ginger roots will help reduce the unwanted fishy flavor and go great with these kinds of dishes.
The cooking time depends on the thickness of the fish, strength of the heat and the presence of the egg sacks so adjust it accordingly.