braised kinmedai, the splendid alfonsino 金目鯛の煮付け

braised kinmedai, burdock and kinome leaves                                                                             

金目鯛の煮付け ごぼう 木の芽 kinmedai no nitsuke   Serves 4 


Kinmedai, the splendid alfonsino is found around the world.

In Japan the fresh kinmedai can make a nice sashimi and also a tasty braised dish like this recipe during summer months.


2 whole kinmedai

20g ginger (peel skin, cut into julienne),                                                                                

20cm burdock (wash gently to remove dirt and cut into half lengthwise and cut into 5cm long)

To cook fish: 50ml sake, water (to cover the fish or as needed), 2-3 tablespoons sugar, 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1-2 tablespoons mirin (or as needed)


1.     Scale the fish, remove guts and gills and wash to clean and dry with paper towel. Normally the Japanese fish mangers do this process for you.  Score the skin diagonally three times on *facing side as shown. This helps fish flesh soaks up the sauce. * Facing side of the fish means that when the fish is placed in a saucepan with its head to the left and tail to the right. This is the way how we normally plate the cooked whole fish.



2.     Place the fish in a large saucepan with its head to the left and tail to the right and add sake and water just to cover the fish. Cook on high heat, skim the froth not to thoroughly (avoid skimming fish oil as it is umami-flavour of the fish), add julienne ginger, 3 tablespoons sugar and cook for a few minutes and add 3 tablespoons soy sauce. Keep cooking on medium heat with an *otoshi-buta till the sauce is reduced to half and taste it. If needed add more sugar and soy sauce to your taste. As the sauce is thickened, taste the sauce add mirin as needed and pour the sauce over the fish with a ladle over and over again to glaze until the sauce is almost gone. Be careful not to burn the fish.    

l  Otoshi-bura (落し蓋) is a wooden lid which can be placed directly on the fish, chicken, beef and vegetables braised in a saucepan. It gives steaming effect and helps infuse the food making it moist and tasty. You need to soak the ososhi-buta in water before use to shield it.

l  Substitute for kinmedai is mebaru, black rockfish and rock cod.

copyright 2019 Shuji Ozeki