Soup with Pacific Saury Fish Balls

A soup that warms the body and soul featuring fish balls made by combining minced fish with miso and negi long onions.

Soup with Pacific Saury Fish Balls
Photographed by Taku Kudo

Recipe by
Hideko Noguchi




Soups & Stews



Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • [Fish balls]

    • 2 Pacific saury
    • Red miso

      1/10 the amount of the ground fish.

    • 1/2 egg
    • 1 naga-negi long onion (minced)
  • 5 cm carrot
  • 7 cm daikon radish
  • 1/2 block konnyaku
  • 1/2 gobo burdock root
  • 8 green beans

    Stem is also edible.

  • 1 konbu kelp (8 cm x 10 cm)
  • Soy sauce
  • Salt



Make the fish balls. Cut off the heads of the fish and remove the guts. Thoroughly wash out the belly, then fillet. Slice away the ribs and chop up the fillets. Pound the chopped fish with a knife to mince. Transfer the minced fish to a suribachi grinding bowl and grind until sticky. Add the miso and continue to grind and combine. Add the beaten egg and negi.


After removing the heads and guts, place the fish on the cutting board so that the belly is towards you and the tail is facing left. Insert your knife from the head end and draw the blade along the backbone as far as the tail to separate the top fillet. Turn over and repeat the process to remove the bottom fillet. Grind the chopped fillets until smooth and sticky so that adding the egg will be sufficient to hold it together without having to add starch.


Peel the carrot and daikon and cut into rangiri pieces. Cut the konnyaku into rangiri pieces and blanch in boiling water. Scrape off the gobo peel using the back of your knife and cut into rangiri pieces. Soak in water to remove the bitter taste.


Boil the green beans in lightly salted water and cut diagonally into 3-4 cm lengths.


Pour 1200-1400 ml of water into a pot, add the konbu, carrots, daikon and gobo and place over heat. When it comes to a boil, remove the konbu and, with a spoon, form the fish paste into bite-size balls and gently add to the soup. When the fish balls float to the surface, add 3 tablespoons of soy sauce and season with salt.


Serve in individual bowls and garnish with green beans.


[Suribachi] A mortar. Japanese mortars have radial patterned dents on the inner side to make ingredients into particulate pieces or paste.