Japanese Seafood Terrine


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

Appears in

An Ocean of Flavor: The Japanese Way with Fish and Seafood

An Ocean of Flavor

By Elizabeth Andoh

Published 1988

  • About

The Japanese use seafood forcemeat to make a wide variety of dishes such as dumplings, terrines, and stuffings for vegetables. In this recipe, chunks of bright pink shrimp and verdant green asparagus give textural and color contrast to a smooth, snowy fish and seafood terrine. With the help of the food processor and microwave, this terrine is a snap to make.


Surimi (Forcemeat)

  • 8-10 ounces bay or sea scallops
  • 5-6 ounces turbot or fillet of sole
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 small egg white
  • 1 teaspoon mirin (syrupy rice wine)
  • 1 teaspoon shiro miso (light fermented bean paste)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2-3 stalks fresh green asparagus
  • 6 large shrimp
  • 1 tablespoon wasabi (Japanese horseradish) powder
  • scant 1 tablespoon cold water
  • soy sauce for dipping, optional


  1. Rinse the scallops and pat them dry. If you are using sea scallops, cut them into smaller pieces. Cut the fish into 1-inch pieces. Place the scallops and fish in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
  2. Pulse/process the scallops and fish until pasty. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small cup, and mix into a paste. Add the cornstarch paste and pulse/process again. Add the egg white and process until smooth. Add the bean paste and salt, and pulse/process until well distributed. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.
  3. Trim the asparagus and peel the stalks below the tips to remove the triangular “leaves.” Cut the asparagus into ¼- to ½-inch pieces. Toss the asparagus pieces into the seafood mixture, and using a spatula, distribute them well.
  4. Peel and devein the shrimp, then cut them into ¼- to ½-inch chunks. Toss these into the seafood mixture and distribute them well.
  5. Dip a microwave-safe glass loaf pan into cold water, then pour the water out. With hands and/or a rubber spatula dipped in cold water, fill the loaf pan with the seafood mixture. Press gently to make sure there are no air bubbles. Smooth the top of the loaf with a rubber spatula dipped in cold water.
  6. Cover the loaf pan with clear plastic wrap. With a toothpick, poke several holes in the plastic wrap to allow steam to escape. Cook the terrine in a microwave oven at medium power (490 watts) for 3 minutes. (Test for doneness by inserting a toothpick in the center of the terrine; it should come out clean.)
  7. Let the terrine sit, still wrapped, for 2-3 minutes; it will shrink from the sides of the pan. Remove and discard the plastic wrap, pour off any accumulated liquid, and invert the terrine onto a rack. Cover loosely, and chill it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes and up to several hours.
  8. When you are ready to serve it, use a sharp knife to slice the terrine. Mix the horseradish powder with the cold water to make a paste. Place small mounds of the paste to the side of one or two slices of terrine on each plate. Serve soy sauce on the side for dipping, if you like.