Happy Donabe Life

Penne with Smoked Tasmanian Ocean Trout in Yuzu Sansho Cream Sauce

This is a great dish to entertain a group of people at brunch or lunch, as it takes no time to prepare and it also makes a beautiful presentation. The sauce is cooked in the donabe, and once the pasta is added, you can serve right out of it. Sautéed napa cabbage adds the natural sweetness to the dish. Smoked Tasmanian ocean trout (you can substitute with high quality smoked salmon) is cooked very briefly at the end, so you can enjoy its pure flavor. Yuzu and sansho gives the beautiful aroma and a little kick to this creamy dish.


Classic-style Donabe (2-qt/ 2,000 ml or larger)


4 - 5


  • 1 lb (450 g) penne pasta
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons plus more extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly-sliced
  • 4 – 5 leaves from medium-size napa cabbage, bottom half cut into 1/4″ (6 mm) strips crosswise, and upper half cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons sake (can substitute with white wine)
  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
  • 8 oz (240 g) smoked Tasmanian ocean trout or smoked salmon, sliced into bite-size pieces
  • 1 – 2 tablespoons pure yuzu citrus juice (can substitute with fresh meyer lemon juice)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons or more sansho powder
  • Cilantro or chives for garnish
  • Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Bring ample amount of water to boil in a large pot, add some salt, and cook the penne to al dente.
  2. Meanwhile, sauté the garlic in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until fragrant (1 – 2 minutes) over medium heat.
  3. Add the napa cabbage and continue to sauté for a few minutes or until it’s softened.
  4. Deglaze with the sake and cook until it’s reduced to very low. Add the cream and bring to simmer.
  5. Add the smoked fish, and stir. Once the sauce is back to simmer, add the yuzu juice and sansho powder.
  6. As soon as the penne is cooked, drain well and add to the sauce. Stir.
  7. Turn off the heat and drizzle some more olive oil and garnish with cilantro.
  8. Sprinkle some Parmesan cheese and serve at the table.

Donabe makes the wonderful one-pot pasta dish. Enjoy!


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