There are three cooking procedures involved to make this Japanese-style soy honey fish and shiitake with broccoli and quail eggs, but you need only one pan to complete the dish.
First, boil water in a wide shallow pan. Sprinkle in some salt, throw in the broccoli florets and cook for just a minute. Drain, give the florets an ice bath and throw out the water.
Second, in the same pan, pour in cooking oil and deep fry the fish fillet until golden.
Third, pour off the oil. Heat the sauce in the pan, add the mushrooms and quail eggs and simmer. After a minute, add the fish, simmer until the sauce has reduced, toss in the broccoli and the dish is ready to serve.
Why is this soy honey fish and shiitake with broccoli and quail eggs worth trying at home? Because it is deliriously good. The interplay of colors is a visual delight, the contrasting textures make a lovely feast in the mouth, and the flavors tickle the taste buds in such a memorable way.
See, “soy honey” is just a shortened way to describe the flavors of this dish. The sauce is made of a few other ingredients and, optionally, another that adds an incomparable depth of flavor that only the term umami can attempt to describe. I’m talking about the rehydrated shiitake and its soaking liquid.
So, while it is super convenient to use fresh shiitake to cook this dish, consider how much tastier it will be if you bother to take that extra step of soaking dried mushrooms.
Soy Honey Fish and Shiitake With Broccoli and Quail Eggs
To season and prep the fish
- 500 grams fish fillet (I used mahi-mahi but any firm fleshy fish is okay)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup corn starch
For the sauce
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sake
- 1 pinch dried chili flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame seed oil
To complete the dish
- 1 head broccoli
- 6 shiitake mushrooms (preferably dried and rehydrated in hot water for a few hours)
- cooking oil for deep frying
- 12 to 16 quail eggs hard-boiled and shelled
- Rinse the fish fillet and pat dry with paper towels.
- Cut the fish fillet into bite-size pieces. Toss with the salt, pepper and corn starch. Set aside.
- Mix together all the ingredients for the sauce. If using dried mushrooms, add two tablespoons of the soaking liquid.
- Cut the broccoli into florets.
- Discard the mushroom stems and cut the caps into bite-size pieces.
- Heat water (about three inches deep) in a wide shallow pan.
- Dump the broccoli florets in the boiling water. Sprinkle in three generous pinches of salt. Cook for a minute.
- Drain the broccoli and pour into a bowl of iced water. Leave to cool then drain.
- Pour off the water from the pan. Heat the pan and, when dry, pour in enough cooking oil to reach a depth of at least three inches.
- When the oil is hot, drop in the seasoned fish, one at a time, and cook until golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Pour off the oil from the pan (you can reuse the oil). Pour in the sauce, heat and allow to boil gently for a minute.
- Add the shiitake and quail eggs to the sauce. Cook, tossing the pan, occasionally, for about two minutes.
- Add the fish to the mushrooms and quail eggs. Toss around to coat each piece with the sauce. Cook for another minute.
- When the sauce has reduced and thickened, turn off the heat. Toss in the broccoli.
- Serve immediately with hot rice.
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