Saturday, October 06, 2007

Chan-Chan Yaki

Chan-Chan Yaki

Miso (fermented bean paste) is such a versatile ingredient. And it's amazing how well it goes with some dairy products like cheese or butter.

To tell you the truth, I didn't know chan-chan yaki until I read about it in a manga, "Cooking Papa" several years ago. This must be a popular dish in the northern part of Japan, but in my hometown where seared bonito (katsuo no tataki) is almost like a "staple," combining miso and butter to grill salmon was not a popular idea. At least I had never heard of it. But now, thanks to the manga and other medias like TV cooking shows, recipe magazines and the internet, chan-chan yaki is known throughout the country, I think.

OK. I'm posting the recipe for the chan-chan yaki I made today. Yes, I modified someone's recipe to make it less sweet to suit my palate, but still it was on the sweet side.

Chan-chan yaki ( 1 serving?)
2 pieces of salmon fillet
vegetables (carrots, cabbage, onion, green pepper, mushrooms etc., sliced or chopped)
2 Tbsp white miso
2 Tbsp miso
3 Tbsp sake
1+1/2 Tbsp mirin
1+1/2 Tbsp sugar
20 g (or more, if preferred) butter
1/2 tsp soy sauce

The original recipe didn't call for soy sauce, but I thought it would enhance -- or give a little Japanese touch to -- the butter flavor, so I added a little of it.

This is really easy to make. First, melt a little butter in the frying pan and sear the salmon fillets. Then put the cut vegetables in the pan, place the salmon fillets on the vegetables, put the lid on and cook. Combine miso, sake, mirin and sugar in a bowl to make miso sauce. When the vegetables are soft, pour the sauce all over and cook (covered) for a few minutes. Add butter and soy sauce and cook for a few more minutes until the butter melts.

Pretty good with cooked rice. :)



Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving Holidays!
Obachan, I've never heard of such "Chan chan yaki" either... but it looks so delicious! we still have some spring salmon from last month ;) , I'll try the recipe for sure! By the way, my father had returned from Uwajima with one of my favourite, "Jakoten"!

Anonymous said...

Obachan, do you have Thanksgiving in Japan? It's going to be Thanksgiving here in the Americas on Monday... so a :) Thanksgiving anyways!! ^^V
I think I shall try the Chan-chan Yaki sometime soon... I'm trying to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle and this dish sounds like a great substitute for beef stew (or something) ^^". Thank you very much!

K and S said...

mmm chan chan yaki the perfect autumn dish! we had this in hokkaido and they served a whole salmon for the two of us. way too much food!

J*me said...

Oh, your photos of chanchan yaki looks really good! And it's such an easy recipe too! Thanks for sharing! I'll definitely have to try it soon!

Anonymous said...

Hi! again Obachan! This is an interesting recipe~ Is this like a stiry-fry recipe? It looks good~ Aren't those mushrooms called Enoki mushrooms?

PS - For the people that posted above: Oct. 8th is Canadian Thanksgiving...USA thanksgiving is Nov. 22 but I think Japan has something like a "labor thanksgiving day." I think falls on the same day as USA thanksgiving. Is that right Obachan?

child-prodigy said...

I've definitely seen quite a few people on food shows doing a fusion dish of using miso for fish and cooking it. It is indeed versatile.

Anonymous said...

i love it.. Obachan...! gonna try it .. when i find some white miso.. :)

obachan said...

Happy Canadian Thanksgiving. ;)
I bet your salmon will taste wonderful with miso and butter (but be careful with the amount of sugar and mirin if you don't like it too sweet).
I hope your dad had a great time in Uwajima. Oh,Jakoten!! When my younger sis lived near Uwajima, she brought some as souvenir and it was soooooooooo good. Lucky you. Enjoy! :D

Yep, we have a national holiday called Labor Thanksgiving Day in November, but unfortunately no special fest is associated with it.
Chan-chan yaki does sound like a healthy dish with vegetables and fish, but maybe not necessarily a low-cal food because of the butter added, I guess.

K & S
I've heard about the "whole salmon chan-chan yaki" in Hokkaido. (Or maybe I read it in the manga, cooking papa? I don't remember exactly.) Anyway, it must have been a gorgeous meal with famous hokkaido butter. Mmmmm...!!!

Oh, why not ;) But again, please be careful with the amount of sugar if you don't like the sauce to be too sweet.

Hi. I'd say it is a little different from stir-fry. You don't really stir the fish and vegetables and the vegetables turn out soft rather than crispy. Yes, the white mushrooms are called Enoki. (Not really my favorite, though.)

Yep,we have labor thanksgiving day, which is Nov. 23th. And maybe I'm the only weird Japanese who prepares American thanksgiving dinner on that day (or around that day). hahaha...

Yeah, and I think the fusion of miso and dairy products is such a lovely invention.

Mama bok
Oh, hi! Nice to hear from you.
Actually, it should be pretty good even without white miso. Just regular miso would be fine, I think. Good luck! :)

Ian said...

we haven't forgotten you, we will email soon:)

obachan said...

Oh, so nice to hear from you!
Don't worry about emailing me, but please remember that I'm thinking about you guys. :)

Peter in Japan said...

Hi, sorry for the unorthodox method of contacting you. I'm Peter Payne with J-List (, a site that sells rather a lot of bento producs. I am wondering if I could be contacted by the "head obachan"?

Unknown said...

What up mah homies.... I just made this, using obachans recipe and it is really good! I mean REALLY good. It is tha boom bang bing bah, release!!

obachan said...

Hi Neal,
So happy to hear that someone tried this out and liked it. Thanks for commenting! ;)