Fresh Porgy

Kodai No Sashimi

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves



Appears in

At Home with Japanese Cooking

At Home with Japanese Cooking

By Elizabeth Andoh

Published 1986

  • About

Tender, translucent slices of impeccably fresh porgy look particularly inviting as they lie mounded on top of dark, aromatic shiso leaves, with a background of crisp, curly radish strips. Fiery horseradish and soy sauce served on the side provide just the right flavor accent to this elegant appetizer.


  • 1 fresh whole porgy (weighing about pounds)
  • Scant ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 4–6 shiso leaves (green aromatic leaves of the beefsteak plant)
  • 2-inch piece of daikon (Japanese white radish)
  • 1–1½ teaspoons wasabi (fiery green horseradish) paste or reconstituted powder
  • 4–6 tablespoons soy sauce


Fillet the fish and lightly salt it. Let the fillets stand for 5–10 minutes (the salt will cause the fish to “sweat” a bit) then gently pat away any accumulated moisture. Slice the fish very thin and slightly on the diagonal. Chill until serving time.

Rinse the shiso leaves under cold water, and one at a time pat them dry. Then lay a single leaf on the palm of your open hand and slap it with your other open hand. This will release the leafs unique aroma. Place a single leaf on each of 4–6 small plates. Peel the radish, then cut it kaminari style. Arrange some curly radish strips in a mound behind each shiso leaf.

Arrange the fish slices to make a small mountain in the center of each leaf. To the side of each “mountain” place a dab of horseradish (if you can coax it into a “hill” shape, all the better). In separate individual small plates with flanges put 1 tablespoon of soy sauce for each person. At the table, each person dissolves some of the horseradish in the soy sauce, then dips the fish lightly in it before eating.