Happy Donabe Life

Salmon, Shiitake and Watercress in Smokey Garlic Black Vinegar Sauce

With just three main ingredients (salmon, shiitake mushrooms, and watercress) and simple preparation, this sizzling dish makes a very satisfying meal. The garlic black vinegar flavor is further enhanced with smoked soy sauce, but if you don’t have it, you can make it with regular high quality soy sauce, too. Make sure to drink up any remaining sauce, or dip some freshly-cooked donabe rice, as it’s so tasty.


Fukkura-san (large)


3 - 4


(Garlic Black Vinegar Sauce)


  • 1 pound (450 g) salmon filet (skin off), cut into 6 to 8 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons liquid shio-koji (can substitute with 1 teaspoon sea salt)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 oz (150 g) medium shiitake mushrooms, bottom end trimmed and cut in half
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 1 bunch watercress, cut into 1″ (2.5 cm)
  • Sliced dry chili (can substitute with red chili flakes), for serving


  1. Whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. Combine the salmon filets with the shio-koji in a shallow bowl and mix well. Cover with plastic wrap and let the salmon lightly marinated for 15 – 30 minutes. Pat dry with paper towel.
  3. Add the oil in the skillet of Fukkura-san and set over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 1 – 2 minutes.
  4. Add the salmon and arrange over the mushrooms. Pour the sake and cover with lid. Cook for 3 minutes of until the salmon is almost cooked through.
  5. Pour in the sauce and top the salmon with the watercress and some dry chili. Cover again, and continue to cook for another 1 – 2 minutes.
  6. Uncover at the table and serve into individual bowls.

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