The Real Japanese Izakaya Cookbook
The Japanese name of this classic dish, tatsuta-age, is said to be inspired by the river Tatsuta in Nara prefecture. The reddish-brown surface of the fried mackerel, broken up by the bubbly white of the cornstarch, is reminiscent of fall leaves floating on the surface of the water. The radish and chili garnish, a classic accompaniment to many Japanese dishes, is called momiji-oroshi, meaning “grated red maple leaves.”
*Try using other boneless filleted fish instead of the mackerel. You can use white fish like cod or sea bass—or salmon, for a very different version of this dish. I also recommend trying this recipe with lean pork fillet, chicken breast meat, chicken tenders and so on, since the marinade adds flavor and richness to such low-fat cuts. All versions taste good when they’re cold, so they’re great in bento boxes.