Fuki to satsumaage no nimono / Japanese butterbur and deep-fried fishcakes in broth

This is a reduced-sodium version of previously posted fuki to kamaboko no nimono (Japanese butterbur and fishcakes in broth). The process is pretty much the same, other than soaking fishcakes in boiling water to desalinate them in advance. Seasonings are tweaked a bit — sweet elements (sake and mirin) and the salty ingredient (soy sauce) are both reduced while adding a tiny amount of rice vinegar. The result? It is just as tasty as the older version.

1/2 of recipe:
68 calories; 5.2 g protein; 1.4 g fat; 7.2 g carbohydrate; 6.6 g net carbs; 99 mg sodium; 8 mg cholesterol; 0.6 g fiber; 189 mg potassium


Approx. 100 g fuki Japanese butterbur (104 g prep-boiled in photo)
2 satsumaage deep-fried fishcakes (75 g desalinated in photo)

For broth
200 cc dashi
1 1/2 tbsp sake
1/2 tsp mirin
1 tsp usukuchi soy sauce

1/4 tsp rice vinegar


Put all broth ingredients into a pot, and bring to boil.


Meanwhile, cut fuki into 3-4 cm, and cut satsumaage in desired shape.


When broth boils, add fuki, simmer on medium low heat for 2-3 minutes after broth returns to boil, and transfer to plate or tray.


To the same broth, put satsumaage, and simmer on medium low heat for 3-4 minutes.


Remove pot from heat, slightly cool, and put back fuki.
Completely cool.
Reheat as necessary before serving.


  • Removing fuki from pot after simmering is done to preserve its green color. If color is not a concern, fuki and satsumaage can be cooked together from the beginning.
  • Broth’s flavor goes into ingredients while cooling. For this reason, the dish would taste somewhat weak unless allowed to cool completely once.
  • Among fishcakes, deep-fried or grilled types retain their taste after desalination. The photo at right is the same recipe using chikuwa grilled tube-shaped fishcakes.
  • Nutrition figures above are based on the assumption that 60% of broth is consumed. The sodium figure is based on measurement of remaining broth in pot and bowls as well as on the assumption that 80% of sodium in satsumaage is eliminated.
  • Sodium-savvy version tricks:
    • Soaking satsumaage in boiling water for 10 minutes reduces its sodium content by 80-85%.
    • Above, a quarter teaspoon of rice vinegar basically replaces a half teaspoon of soy sauce. Compared to the previous recipe using 2 tsp of usukuchi soy sauce, this recipe uses the equivalent of 1 1/2 tsp of usukuchi soy sauce.
    • To adjust the flavor balance, the amount of sake and mirin is reduced to 75% and 50%, respectively, from the previous recipe.
    • When fishcakes are desalinated, their sweetness becomes more noticeable, so that mirin (clearly sweet) is reduced more than sake (not so sweet).

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