Home > Cooking, Drinking, Food, Japan, Learn Japanese, Recipes > The Time I Cooked Yellowtail Teriyaki

The Time I Cooked Yellowtail Teriyaki

In addition to hitting the books, a fun way to learn new Japanese vocabulary is by making a Japanese dish. While I lived in Japan, it was tempting to resort to Cup Noodle or instant curry every night, but I eventually bought a video game called しゃべる!DSお料理ナビ (Shaberu! DS o-ryōri nabi) for my Nintendo DS when it was released in 2006. This game—which will work on Japanese and American systems alike—is a portable, interactive cookbook with 200 common Japanese recipes. Sadly, an English translation of the game was never released, though an American version with mostly Western recipes called Personal Trainer: Cooking can be bought on Amazon.

A little animated chef walks you through each recipe, timing steps as needed and providing helpful videos regarding cooking techniques. As such, it’s perfect for beginner chefs, and all the often-repeated cooking vocabulary makes for great language study!

Some of my favorite recipes are some of the easiest such as teriyaki fish/beef or sukiyaki (a one-pot meal where almost anything can work as an ingredient). Though cooking authentic Japanese food in the states can be difficult because of a lack of ingredients, NYC has ample resources for international chefs. In my opinion, one of the biggest differences between Japanese and American cooking is the relative subtlety of flavors in Japanese dishes. Flavors tend to be balanced, but understated compared to some American classics like spicy BBQ or hamburgers with spices folded into the meat. That and traditionally, much Japanese food is cooked using very long chopsticks instead of a wooden spoon for sautéing. I cheated and used a spoon most of the time because I was tired of clumsily dropping and ruining my food.

Anyway, here is a simple recipe translated from the DS game that you can make yourself! Most of these ingredients can be easily found in most US grocery stores, but there are a few such as pickled ginger and mirin that might be a little more difficult to locate. I’ve included the ingredients list in English and Japanese, and more useful cooking vocabulary is listed below. Enjoy!

ぶりの照り焼き – Yellowtail Teriyaki

Yield: 4 servings


English Japanese
4 yellowtail fillets ぶり(切り身) 4切れ
Flour (as needed) 小麦粉 適量
2 Tbsp salad oil サラダ油 大さじ2
40 g pickled ginger しょうがの甘酢漬け 40g
4 Tbsp mirin みりん 大さじ4
4 Tbsp soy sauce しょうゆ 大さじ4
1 Tbsp sugar 砂糖 大さじ1



In a small bowl, mix together 1 Tbsp sugar, 4 Tbsp mirin, and 4 Tbsp soy sauce. Set aside.

In another bowl or plate, add some flour. Coat each side of the fish evenly.

Add 2 Tbsp salad oil to a frying pan and set on medium heat. Place the fish in the pan skin side down. Cook until you see a nice brownish golden color and flip over (a few minutes per side). Turn the heat to low. Soak up the excess oil with some paper towels.

Add the soy sauce mixture to the pan. Cook until the fish looks nice and coated.

Put the fish on a plate and add the ginger on the side for garnish. (I also cooked up some rice to make this more of a meal.)


Note: Japanese vowels are pronounced similarly to those in Spanish. Vowels with lines over them indicate that they should be held for a longer amount of time – approximately two beats.

Vowel Pronunciation
a The “a” in “father”
i The “y” sound in “meaty
u The “u” in “Tuesday”
e The “e” in “egg”
o The “o” in “old”


Japanese Romaji Meaning
ぶり buri Yellowtail
小麦粉 komugiko Wheat flour
適量 tekiryō As needed
しょうが shōga Ginger
しょうがの甘酢漬け shōga no amazutzuke Pickled ginger
しょうゆ shōyu Soy sauce
砂糖 satō Sugar
タレ tare Sauce
計量カップ keiryō kappu Measuring cup
計量スプーン keiryō supūn Measuring spoon
入れる ireru To put in (an ingredient)
混ぜ合わせる mazeawaseru To mix
まぶす mabusu To cover (smear, sprinkle) (with)
熱する nessuru To heat
中火 chūbi Medium heat
弱火 yowabi Low heat
焼く yaku To bake or grill


  1. April 2, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    I used to live in Florida and was able to buy yellowtail snapper. Living in New England now and never see it. It is such a delicious fish and I’m sure yours was very good.

    • April 2, 2012 at 1:18 pm

      Oh man, the recipes on your blog are so much fancier than mine, it isn’t even funny. My recipes are for the…culinarily challenged. Yours look delicious!

      • April 2, 2012 at 1:24 pm

        Thank you for such a nice compliment but my recipes really are easy to make. Just because a dish may end up looking pretty doesn’t mean the it is hard to prepare. There is nothing wrong with your recipes.

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