Saba Yuzu Kosho Nabe (Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Hotpot)

Saba Yuzu Kosho Nabe (Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Hotpot) 鯖柚子胡椒鍋

Saba Yuzu Kosho Nabe (Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Hotpot) 鯖柚子胡椒鍋

Winter is the season of both aozakana (literally, blue fish) and nabe (Japanese ‘hotpot’). Saba (mackerel) is a very unusual addition to nabe, and this includes black pepper! This is actually a family recipe from Paku’s house. (Yuzu was Peko’s addition) We both felt that while this was an unheard of recipe, including Western ingredients, it is completely ‘Japanese’.

This is another quick, easy and healthy dish, and in addition to being mighty tasty it is a complete novelty!

With a squeeze of yuzu and washed down with doburoku sake (another winter season favorite), this makes one heck of a dinner! Sure to warm the heart (and body) and lift the spirits!

Ingredients: saba (mackerel) fillets, udon noodles, greens (kikuna/shungiku is preferred but spinach is a fine substitute), shitake mushrooms, carrot, daikon radish, *mitsuba (Japanese wild parsley), yuzu (lemon or other citrus is an acceptable substitute), kombu (dried kelp), ginger and shoyu.
*optional

Saba: With fish boning tweezers or other similar tool, remove any remaining bones in the saba fillets. Cut into bite-sized pieces and marinade in shoyu and grated ginger for 15-30 minutes.

Dashi (stock): water, kombu, ginger, soy sauce. Simmer covered for like 15-30 minutes, while preparing the veggies.

Veggies: Chop the veggies to your liking. (Paku says to cut the daikon thin because it adds a lot of taste to the dashi, but you don’t want to cook it more than like 5 minutes.) Start with shitake, then carrots. Add the black pepper corns. Simmer for like 5 minutes then the fish and daikon. Greens go in last and according to Peko should not be over cooked, just al dente, if that even.

Yuzu: (or other citrus) quarter the yuzu. Slice some of the peel into thin strips for garnish.

Serve: Squeeze on the yuzu.

This is round one.

Udon; round two.
An excellent and filling finish to nabe is rice or udon. We went with udon. For round two, boil the udon until completely done (this isn’t nikomi udon) and serve in the same bowl. Ladle on more soup, garnish with yuzu peel and serve.

The ingredients
Saba Yuzu Kosho Nabe (Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Hotpot) 鯖柚子胡椒鍋

Lots of veggies and greens make this a healthy meal.Saba Yuzu Kosho Nabe (Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Hotpot) 鯖柚子胡椒鍋
(kikuna in the center and mitsuba on the right)

Yuzu
Saba Yuzu Kosho Nabe (Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Hotpot) 鯖柚子胡椒鍋
Yuzu has a very delicate, yet VERY strong flavor. It is not bitter or astringent. Yuzu is more like a ‘food’ than a ‘flavoring,’ if you know what I mean. (Peko)

Black Pepper (just regular Western style pepper)
Saba Yuzu Kosho Nabe (Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Hotpot) 鯖柚子胡椒鍋

Tweezing out the remaining bones from the mackerel fillet.
Saba Kosho Yuzu Nabe (Mackerel Pepper Yuzu Hotpot) 鯖胡椒柚子鍋

Marinade the mackerel
Saba Kosho Yuzu Nabe (Mackerel Pepper Yuzu Hotpot) 鯖胡椒柚子鍋

Simmering the dashi
Saba Yuzu Kosho Nabe (Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Hotpot) 鯖柚子胡椒鍋

Simmering the veggies and fish
Saba Yuzu Kosho Nabe (Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Hotpot) 鯖柚子胡椒鍋

Greens at the end
Saba Yuzu Kosho Nabe (Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Hotpot) 鯖柚子胡椒鍋

Served with doburoku sake
Saba Yuzu Kosho Nabe (Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Hotpot) 鯖柚子胡椒鍋

Saba Yuzu Kosho Nabe (Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Hotpot) 鯖柚子胡椒鍋

Doburoku is a very thick, almost chewy ‘home brewed’ sakeSaba Yuzu Kosho Nabe (Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Hotpot) 鯖柚子胡椒鍋
doburoku is sweet, but don’t be fooled, it packs not a punch, but a wallop!

Peko is crazy for yuzu, so he squeezed some into the doburoku too! Yum!!Saba Yuzu Kosho Nabe (Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Hotpot) 鯖柚子胡椒鍋

Round two, add the udon!Saba Yuzu Kosho Nabe (Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Hotpot) 鯖柚子胡椒鍋

Udon – detail
Saba Yuzu Kosho Nabe (Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Hotpot) 鯖柚子胡椒鍋

All done. Paku put it a lot of pepper, but it was not overpowering.Saba Yuzu Kosho Nabe (Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Hotpot) 鯖柚子胡椒鍋

Doburoku (濁酒) and nigorizake (濁り酒), often translated as ‘home brewed sake’ and ‘cloudy sake’, respectively, are unfiltered sake. Varieties abound, from dry to sweet and from ‘chewy’ to just ‘thick’. And, they all pack a wallop!

We had this domuroku (どむろく), from Nagano Prefecture, and we suspect that ’domuroku’ means ’doburoku’ in the Nagano dialect.

4 Responses to “Saba Yuzu Kosho Nabe (Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Hotpot)”

  1. Yummyhobo says:

    haha, I was so surprised to see your comment on my blog today! Sorry if I infringed on your copyrights by using your photos- they looked so tasty. Unfortunately, I forgot my map of Kyoto today so I didn’t go to Rokudenya. I did, however, go to Nishiki and bought the tounyuu doughnuts- which were amazing, by the way. Thank you for the food suggestions and keep up the great job on the site!
    -yummyhobo

  2. PekoPeko says:

    Hello Yummyhobo,

    Quite an interesting handle you’ve got there!

    I hope that you are enjoying life in Kyoto and will enjoy reading about your adventures and experiences on your blog!

    Rokudenya is pretty easy to find, it is in Pontocho, about half way between Shijo Street and Sanjo Street, just south of the little park.

    Oh, yeah. Ah, I was rather surprised to see my photo on your blog! I very much appreciate your enthusiasm, so OK.

    For the record, if anyone would like to put a KF photo on their own blog, that would probably be fine, but do ask first.

    Again, looking forward to reading about your adventures in Kyoto!

  3. PekoPeko says:

    Oh yeah, and those soymilk doughnuts rule!

  4. […] but decided on a bubbly and rather chunky doburoku that we first introduced on KyotoFoodie in this Mackerel Yuzu Pepper Nabe article last winter. This sake comes from Nagano Prefecture in north-central Japan and is called Domuroku […]

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