homecooking: Nizakana Flounder Simmered with Shishito

Nizakana: Flounder Simmered with Shishito (カレイの煮付け)

Nizakana: Flounder Simmered with Shishito (カレイの煮付け)
Nizakana can be made with any kind of fish and is well suited for smaller fish that can be simmered whole. Flounder with eggs, komochi, is a favorite in Japan. The mild-mannered Japanese shishito peppers adds color, nutrition and a contrast of flavors.

Nizakana is great because it is quick an easy to make, adds some novel flavors to your fish repertoire and it goes well with other non-Japanese dishes. Nizakana goes equally well with sake or white wine.

Give nizakana a try. The basic recipe can easily be riffed upon and adapted. If you can get whole fish, try doing it nizakana style, even with the head on. I really want to do some Minnesota panfish; sunfish, bluegill, crappie, etc nizakana style. Smallmouth bass, perch, small walleye could all be cooked this way and taste quite similar to what people enjoy in Japan. If you can obtain fish with egg sacs, leave them in!

Nizakana: Flounder with Shishito Peppers
Nizakana: Flounder Simmered with Shishito


  • flounder or similar ‘white meat’ fish
  • shishito peppers (small green bell peppers, sliced are an alternative)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup mirin
  • 1/4 cup sake or cooking sake (white cooking wine can be substituted)
  • 4 tablespoons shoyu

Place fish in sauce pan and add water, mirin and sake. (If mirin cannot be obtained, just add sugar to the sake.) The size of the pan should be such that the fish is submerged in the broth.
Simmer gently for about 15 minutes.
Add shoyu and sugar if desired.
Add shishito and simmer until cooked and remove from heat and serve immediately.

If you are using a ‘blue’ fish such as mackerel, add some ginger.

Flounder with Eggs (子持ち)
Nizakana: Flounder Simmered with Shishito
Komochi, literally means ‘has egg/child’.

Komochi Flounder in the Pan
Nizakana: Flounder Simmered with Shishito
The orange parts are the eggs.

Simmering with Wooden Cover (Otoshibuta)
Nizakana: Flounder Simmered with Shishito
Otoshibuta: ‘Otoshi’ means to push down and ‘buta’ (futa) means cover. The purpose of the otoshibuta is to submerge the fish as much as possible in the broth. If you don’t have an otoshibuta, just use a regular lid and spoon the broth over the fish as necessary.

Simmering in Sweetened Shoyu and Sake
Nizakana: Flounder Simmered with Shishito
Mirin contains a lot of sugar and makes food silky and shiny in appearance.

Shishito Added
Nizakana: Flounder Simmered with Shishito
Shishito will cook very quickly and should not be overcooked.

Nizakana – Done!
Nizakana: Flounder Simmered with Shishito

Nizakana – Served
Nizakana: Flounder Simmered with Shishito

Another KyotoFoodie article that includes nizakana is right here.

6 Responses to “homecooking: Nizakana Flounder Simmered with Shishito”

  1. Erina says:

    thanks for the recipe, ill have to try it sometime! and i just wanted to tell you I was so honored to have you check out my blog, thanks so much! I follow VERY few blogs consistently but I always make it a priority to come and visit yours. You have amazing photography and awesome posts, definitly one of my favorite all time blogs! =)


  2. diva says:

    have never had this fish before but mum used to get large pomfrets with egg sacs in them because she said the eggs were good for your brains! interesting. anyway, love the pictures and the recipe seems uncomplicated. hope to try it soon 🙂 x

  3. Oooo looks good. I bought a bunch of shishito to grill but I’ve been wondering what to do with the rest. I also have a bunch of onsen tamago sitting around and have been putting them in everything…. I wonder how they’d taste with this nizakana…

  4. PlainJane says:

    Thank you for the recipe, again..I love your blog very much 🙂

  5. Etsuko says:

    Oisiso! You are a cooking expert. Your blog is verry inspirning. I’m looking forward to reading the next exploration.

  6. […] the Name of the Dish ‘Itame’ means to saute and ‘ni’ means to simmer, as in nizakana (simmered […]

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