‘Nizakana’ literally means ‘Simmered Fish’. Fish fillets or cutlets are simmered in Sake (Rice Wine) and Soy Sauce. The sauce is commonly sweetened with Mirin or/and Sugar. This is the easiest and very popular method to cook fish in Japan. Depending on the type of fish, you may wish to add Ginger or Garlic. Today, I used Spanish Mackerel, ‘Sawara’ in Japanese. Snapper, Mackerel, Tuna, Cod and Bonito family fish are all suitable.


4 Servings


4 cutlets OR fillets Fish of your choice *Today I used Spanish Mackerel
1 to 2 tablespoons Sake (Rice Wine) *Important!
1/4 cup Soy Sauce
1/4 cup Mirin
2 tablespoons Sugar *The amount is up to your preference.
1/4 cup Sake (Rice Wine) OR Water
Some slices of Ginger OR Garlic *Today I used a small piece Ginger, sliced into fine strips

  1. Place Fish cutlets OR fillets on a large plate, sprinkle with Sake (Rice Wine), and set aside. This process is important to achieve clean & pleasant flavour.
  2. Place Soy Sauce, Mirin and Sugar in a frying pan, heat over medium heat until Sugar dissolved. Check the flavour, add extra Sugar if you like.
  3. Add Sake (OR Water) and Ginger (OR Garlic), and bring to the boil. Once the sauce starts boiling, place the fish, cover with a lid and cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. Carefully turn the fish over, cover with the lid, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the lid and allow the sauce thickens slightly.