Sunday, April 3, 2011

Saba Fish w/ Pumpkin in Miso Sauce

Few ingredients: Tofu, pumpkin, saba fish, leek, spring onion

Saba fish is an oily fish with a strong fishy smell.   I used to grill or pan-fry the fish, but find that the strong  smell is still there after cooking and I would usually squeeze some lemon juice over it and eat with sambal chilli or Korean hot sauce.  Then, I discovered another way of cooking it - with miso paste (done Chinese style).  No more fishy smell and very tasty.  Even my little girl loves it!


2 slices frozen saba fish (1 fish, sliced into 2 halves) - thawed
A small piece of pumpkin, cut bite-sized
1/2 leek, sliced
1.5 tsp miso paste (I used the light-coloured miso paste)
1 tbsp mirin
Soy sauce (to taste)

1) Clean and pat dry the saba fish on kitchen paper.  Rub a pinch of salt on both sides of the fish.
2) Heat a little oil in wok on medium-high heat.  Fry the fish (skin side down first) on both sides till light golden brown.  Set aside.
3) Drain excess oil, leaving about 1 tbsp of oil in wok.  Stir fry the leek till fragrant.  Add the miso paste and stir fry for a minute.  Add pumpkin, mirin and water (enough to cover ingredients, plus a little more water if you like more gravy).  Cover and let it simmer on medium heat for about 5 minutes or till pumpkin becomes soft.
4) Add the saba fish (step 2) and let it simmer for another minute.  Add soy sauce to taste.
5) Garnish with spring onion and serve hot.

While simmering the pumpkin, I quickly prepared a chilled tofu dish.

Spicy tofu, garnished with shredded seaweed, spring onion and toasted sesame seeds

Spicy sauce:
1 tbsp Korean hot paste
1 tbsp Japanese sesame sauce
Soy sauce (to taste) -about 1/2 tbsp
1 tbsp mirin
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp water

Mix together the spicy sauce seasonings and pour over chilled tofu.  If you prefer, you can steam the tofu for 2 to 3 minutes, then pour the sauce over it.


  1. I love saba. Never fail to order grilled saba whenever I go for a Japanese meal. Braising it with pumpkin seems delicious.
    You don't really need to crack your head to cook saba, just cook it the way you cook mackeral/tenggiri, it's the same fish.

  2. This sounds wonderful! I need to use my miso paste for something else as well other than miso soup, I guess...;)!!


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