Grilled Fish Fillets with Japanese Sake and Miso Paste | Hong Kong Food Blog with Recipes, Cooking Tips mostly of Chinese and Asian styles | Taste Hong Kong

Grilled Fish Fillets with Japanese Sake and Miso Paste

Grilled Fish Fillet with Japanese Sake and Miso Paste

When the marinaded catfish fillets were readily placed in the oven, I set the appliance to grill.

Yet they came out without any sign of being charred because they were in effect submerged partially in a sauce and covered by foil.

I prepared the sauce almost in no time since it was simply a mix of Japanese sake and miso paste. In Asian or Japanese cooking, I believe, ginger is usually grated before adding it to a miso-based sauce. Here, I borrowed the Chinese way of steaming fishes for preparing this. You guessed it. I lay a handful of ginger slivers to their bottoms and on top of them.

I admit that I have been very responsive to frozen smells, yet with the sake and ginger, even I am that sensitive, I detect nothing frozen but flavorful, smooth, and as if the fishes were gently poached.

To grill the fishes like poaching, I fetch a baking dish good for holding the fishes and sauce. Or you may use a heavy duty foil to wrap each fish so that the ginger flavors are enclosed in the ‘parcel’. Just be careful that the sauce is folded properly inside.

Japanese Sake

  • Ingredients
  • 2 frozen catfiish fillets (腍魚柳), ~150g each
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • 4 cm ginger, julienned
  • 1 sprig of green onion, julienned
  • Sauce
  • 4 tbsp sake (Japanese rice wine)
  • 4 tsp white miso paste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • add in 3 tsp miso paste first, and check saltiness before adding more
  • Marinade for fish fillets
  • a pinch of salt, ~1/8 tsp

Japanese Sake


Defrost fish fillets, rinse. To eliminate frozen smell, pour over some boiling water over the fish fillets as suggested here.

Marinade fish with salt for about 15 minutes

Distribute half of the ginger slivers on a baking dish then place the fish fillets flat on them.

Mix well the sauce and pour it all over the fish fillets. Let them stand for another 15 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180 degree C for 10 minutes.

Then evenly top the fishes with the remaining ginger slivers, cover dish by foil. Grill in oven with the same heat for 15 minutes.

Serve hot. I actually added more green onion into the sauce after taking the shot.

Miso is always a versatile ingredient. In addition to using it for cooking soup, broth or as a sauce, you may also braise meat with it. Here is a simple yet hearty recipe on Braise Pork with Miso Paste written by Mary, author of where I always love to visit. I’m grateful for her writing me a detailed, knowledgeable advice on a home appliance I am interested in. Thank you, Mary!

I didn’t buy that nice bottle of sake myself. It was a just-in-time gift from Miss K, who sacrificed it from her own stock when she knew I was going to miss the shopping hours of the supermarket.

While I was about to utter my words of thanks to her, she grabbed a pear from her fridge and removed its protective packaging and dressed it on the bottle of sake for me to bring home …

Japanese Sake

I was speechless, but definitely wish to dedicate this recipe to Miss K, my dearest friend!

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  1. Mary Moh

    Fish with miso and sake….100% my favourite! Would be so good with rice. Frozen fish is very convenient. I usually buy frozen cod…both in fillets and in blocks. They are really handy.

  2. tigerfish

    I grill my fish like poaching often too. It retains the moisture in fish much better and the intensification of natural flavors are amazing.

  3. pigpigscorner

    Ginger tends to get rid of all weird smell/ taste. Simple and delicious!

  4. penny aka jeroxie

    What a nice friend 🙂 And you made a lovely dish

  5. Cooking Gallery

    This looks so light and yummy! I am sure it would sit well in my stomach…!

  6. mycookinghut

    Looks absolutely delicious! I am sure it tastes great!!

  7. 5 Star Foodie

    Sounds amazing! love the sake and miso paste here!

  8. Little Inbox

    II just get to know that Sutchi fish is from the cat fish family. I used it twice in my cooking, and to my surprise, it has no fishy smell at all. The price is pretty cheap too.

    I would love to try this recipe. Just wonder if I can substitute the sake with Chinese rice wine or glutinous rice wine (Shao Xin Jiu)?

  9. Carolyn Jung

    What a flavorful and healthful dish that cooks up so easily. And can I just say that I give Miss K a big thumbs up for her crafty way to protect a glass bottle. Ingenious!

  10. TasteHongKong

    @Little Inbox,
    I have not tried using Chinese white or yellow wine (Shaoxing wine) for making this but intuitively I am afraid they will make a different dish because of their relatively pungent flavors. For me, the sake with its subtle sweetness just blends well with the miso.
    The frozen catfishes here are inexpensive too, costing about HKD15 for two. They are imported from Vietnam and I believe they are cultivated.

  11. Tastes of Home (Jen)

    I love simple grilled dishes like these – I agree that miso is a great ingredient, I love using sake too!

  12. Mei Teng

    I have never tasted any dish cooked with Japanese sake. Will this recipe work if one were to use dory fish fillet?

  13. Ivy @ My Simple Food

    I have never used miso paste in my cooking before, I must try this.

  14. TasteHongKong

    @Mei Teng,
    Excuse me, I have no experience of doing such with dory. But your suggestion sounds positive and I would love to give it a try if I see dory around.

  15. JJ

    Thanks for posting a fish recipe! Will definitely try this. I’ve tried two of your recipes already and they have been a hit with the family.

  16. Angie's Recipes

    Miso and sake fish fillets….a very flavourful fusion treat!

  17. Heavenly Housewife

    Another lovely dish. You really know how to present food so beautifully.
    I hope you are having a wonderful weekend.
    *kisses* HH

  18. Lani

    Looks good and healthty too! First time to visit here, great entries. Have a great day!

  19. noobcook

    Love this way of poaching the fish in the oven. Your photos captured the beauty of this dish.

  20. Christine@Christine's Recipes

    Love your way of baking frozen fish with an effect just like poaching fresh fish fillet. Beautiful dish.

  21. Pepy @Indonesia Eats

    It looked like so delicate and soothing in the mouth. Lovely!

  22. sensiblecooking

    I think I will be sticking around your blog for a while. You got so many wonderful asian recipe. This is such a simple yet flavorful dish. So better than the fried fish I make.

  23. Nancy aka Spicie Foodie

    Your fish photos are making me hungry. I like to use miso and sake with salmon but didn’t think of catfish. I can wait to try your recipe, I have everything in my house to make it.

  24. Maya

    Few ingredients and a delicious meal, can’t beat that!! I almost always have some miso in my fridge – thanks for the idea 🙂

  25. SofJ

    Nice basic choice of sake.