Tomoya Mutaguchi, owner and chef of Japanese tapas bar Izakaya Tomo in Edmonton, wanted to share some of the dining experiences he loved in Japan to a Canadian audience who may not be familiar with all that Japanese food has to offer.

If you’re a bit intimidated by making Japanese food at home, don’t be. Here’s Mutaguchi’s recipe for a traditional home-cooked dish popular in Japan, marinated fried fish with veggies!

Nanbanzuke: Fried Fish in Vinegar Sauce

Yield: Serves 3-4


2 mackerel fillets (or your choice of favourite fish)

1/3 cup + 4 tsp (100 mL) mirin (Japanese rice wine)

100 g sugar

2 cups (500 mL) soy sauce

3 L water

½ lemon

½ medium onion


Flour and oil for frying

2 carrots, sliced thinly

2 green onions, sliced thinly


  1. Combine mirin, sugar, soy sauce, water, lemon, and half a medium onion in a large pot.
  2. Bring to a boil, and then remove from heat.
  3. Sprinkle fish with salt, and remove excess moisture with a paper towel.
  4. Cut fish fillets into bite-sized pieces. Cover in flour and deep fry until crispy (if you don’t have a deep fryer, you can also pan fry fish in oil).
  5. While still hot, add fish to the marinade until fully coated. Add carrots and green onion, and marinate overnight.
  6. Serve cold or at room temperature!

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