Simmered Chicken grunt (nitsuke)

main dish
A dish of isaki (chicken grunt) simmered in soy sauce.


Isaki no nitsuke(イサキの煮つけ)

A dish of isaki (chicken grunt) simmered in soy sauce.

Fish dishes tend to always be the same, but I saw chicken grunt at the supermarket and tried it for the first time. The meat was soft and delicious.

However, since it has many small bones, it may be difficult for children and the elderly to eat.

When making Nitsuke, make sure to use fresh fish and cook it in a short time.
There are several tricks to making Nitsuke delicious.

I’m concerned about the smell of blue fish such as mackerel and yellowtail, so I pour boiling water over them before adding them to the broth. This process is called “shimohuri”.

Check out Mackerel Nitsuke recipe. 👉 Braised mackerel(nitsuke)

Add the fish, both blue and white, to the boiling broth. This is to coagulate the proteins on the surface of the fish through heat denaturation and prevent the internal flavor from leaking out.

Nitsuke never turns the fish over during cooking to prevent it from falling apart. Make a slit in the top and pour the sauce over it so that the flavor spreads evenly.

Also, in order to get a good flavor in a short time, it is important not to use too much water.

What kind of food is Isaki(chicken grunt) ⁇

There are many different types of white fish, and Isaki is one of them.

The flesh is white and similar to red sea bream, but it is softer and has more fat than red sea bream. It can be eaten in a variety of ways, including sashimi, grilled fish, boiled fish, and fried fish.

Isaki is a saltwater fish that lives in rocky reefs along the coast of East Asia, and adults reach a total length of 45 cm.

The season is from around May to July. Isaki is carnivorous and preys on small fish, crustaceans, polychaetes, etc.

Isaki’s English name is “Chicken grunt”.
This is said to be because the dorsal fin resembles a chicken’s crest.
Grunt is a word that refers to the sound of a grunt, and this comes from the grunting sound that the Isaki makes when it is caught.

The commonly known kanji notation is “伊佐木”, but it is also sometimes written as 鶏魚”. This translates into English as Chicken fish.

I don’t know which country first named them, but it’s an interesting phenomenon that both names come from chickens.


174kcal Protein 12.2g Fat 3.4g Carbs 19g Salt equivalent 3.8g


  • chicken grunt 130g
  • ginger 5g
  • ☆soy sauce 25g
  • ☆sugar 10g
  • ☆mirin 10g
  • ☆sake 20g
  • ☆water 100g


①Remove the scales and internal organs of the isaki.  

In Japan, if you ask, supermarket staff will remove the scales and internal organs from the fish for you.

②Make a cross-shaped incision on the isaki.

③Slice the ginger.

④ Add soy sauce, sugar, sake, water, and ginger to the pot.

⑤Bring the broth to a boil.

⑥Add the isaki to the broth.

⑦Cover with aluminum foil and simmer for 7 to 8 minutes. (This process is called “otoshibuta”.)

“otoshibuta” is a method often used for simmered dishes. Use a lid that is one size smaller than the just-sized lid. This prevents the fish from collapsing, and the seasoning liquid circulates inside the lid and reaches the top of the fish.

⑧Remove the aluminum foil, scoop out the broth with a spoon, pour it over the surface, and simmer for a few minutes.

⑨When the broth becomes thick, turn off the heat.