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Macrobiotic diet and fish

Health benefits of eating fish

Fresh fish and sea foods (seaweed and sea vegetables) are also an important part of the macrobiotic diet. Fish (including shellfish) is a reliable source of protein, minerals (iron, selenium and iodine), vitamins and essential fatty acids. The livers of white fish (cod and halibut) are a particularly good source of vitamins A and D. Whilst the flesh of oil-rich fish, such as herring, mackerel and salmon, is an important source of the long chain omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). Although fish are not generally a rich source of iron, sardines are an exception.

The benefits of eating fish, especially oily fish, include: reduced chance of developing heart disease, increased longevity and lowering of blood pressure. Eating fish also ensures the proper development of the brain, nervous tissue and eyes of the foetus during pregnancy. It can also improve kidney function in severe diabetes and may improve inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and psoriasis. More recent research involving elderly people suggests that individuals eating fish or seafood at least once a week are at a lower risk of developing dementia, including Alzheimer's disease.

As part of a healthy diet we are advised to eat at least two servings of fish per week, including one of oily fish.

from Melanie Brown Waxman

"Governing a large country is like frying small fish.
You spoil it with too much poking"

Tao Te Ching

"Man is a ghost of his food"
George Ohsawa


Fried Fish -- top^

The fish needs to be prepared an hour before cooking.

Serves: 4 people

Preparation time: 10 minutes

1 pound white fish such as fluke flounder
2 tablespoons shoyu
1 tablespoon mirin or sake
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar or 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1-2 tablespoons sesame oil
Small amount corn flour


Large dish, skillet


Place the fish into a dish and cover with the shoyu, mirin, and vinegar. Marinate for at least one hour. Remove the fish and cut it into three inch pieces.

Roll the fish pieces in a little corn flour. Heat a skillet on a medium flame and add the oil.

When the oil, is hot add the fish and sauté for two to three minutes on each side or until the fish is tender and golden brown in color. Remove and place on a serving dish.

Serve garnished with lemon.


Steamed Fish with Sautéed Vegetables -- top^

Serves: 4-6 people

Preparation time: 25 minutes


1 pound white fish
1 carrot cut in matchsticks
2 cups Chinese cabbage washed and finely sliced
10 snap peas washed and sliced
1 tablespoon natto miso chutney
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon shoyu


Steamer, medium pot with lid, large skillet


Lightly sprinkle the fish with salt. Place the fish in the steamer and steam for 10 minutes or until tender.

Place in a serving dish.

Heat the oil in a skillet over a high flame.

Sauté the carrots for about 1 minute, add the
Chinese cabbage and then the snap peas. Continue to sauté for another minute.

Add the natto miso and mix through well. Season with shoyu and stir through the vegetables. Place the sautéed vegetables over the fish.

Serve garnished with parsley.


The mirin found in natural food stores is usually the high quality, naturally fermented product, although care should be taken not to purchase those that are commercially brewed and seasoned with sugar. Mirin is related to the rice wine, sake. Mirin is usually used for cooking while sake is usually served hot as an alcoholic beverage. The naturally brewed mirin gets its sweet flavor from sweet rice and koji. Mirin is an excellent addition to marinades, sauces, dips, fish dishes, soups, stews and noodle dishes.


Sweet and Sour Shrimp -- top^

Serves: 4-6 people

Preparation time: 15 minutes


1/2 pound cooked shrimp
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar
2 tablespoons shoyu
1 tablespoon mirin, sake or red wine
1 tablespoon rice syrup
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 cup fresh or frozen organic peas
2 scallions rinsed and finely sliced
1 tablespoon kuzu diluted in a little cold water
1/2 cup spring water
4 cups cooked brown rice


Large skillet


Combine the shoyu, vinegar, rice syrup, mirin and water.

Warm a skillet on a medium flame and add the sesame oil.

Lightly sauté the ginger and garlic for about 30 seconds.

Add the shrimp, peas and scallions and sauté for about 1 minute or until heated through.

Add the shoyu mixture and the diluted kuzu and stir until the sauce thickens or for about
1-2 minutes.

Serve immediately on top of hot, freshly cooked brown rice.

Steamed Fish Rolls -- top^

Serves: 4 people

Preparation time: 20 minutes


1 pound baby flounder
Basil leaves
Pinch sea salt
1/2 cup spring water

Sauce Ingredients:

2 tablespoons sweet white miso
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon shoyu
1/2 cup spring water


Small pot with lid, toothpicks, blender


Cut the filets lengthwise and place a few fresh basil leaves in the center of each. Roll up the fish and secure with a toothpick.

Place the rolls in a pot with a little water. Arrange slices of lemon on top of the fish. Rub a little salt on each roll.

Steam, covered on a low to medium flame for fifteen minutes or until the fish is tender. Place on a serving dish and serve with the sauce.


Fish Soup with Mochi -- top^

This soup is extremely nourishing and helps to strengthen your blood and relieve anemia.

Serves: 4-6 people

Preparation time: 35 minutes

1/2 pound sea trout cut into chunks
1 large carrot washed and shaved
1 cup burdock washed and shaved
1 medium onion diced
1 bunch watercress washed and sliced
1 tablespoon sesame oil (optional)
1/4-1/2 block mochi cut into squares
1 heaping tablespoon barley miso diluted in a little soup stock
4-6 cups spring water
1-2 teaspoons fresh ginger juice
1-2 sheets toasted nori cut into strips
1 scallion washed and finely sliced for garnish


Medium pot with lid.


Heat the oil in a warm pan and add the onions.

Sauté on a high flame for 1-2 minutes and add the carrots. Sauté for 1-2 minutes and repeat with the burdock.

Add enough water to cover the burdock and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until soft. Add the sliced trout and simmer for
10-15 minutes.

Add the rest of the water and return to a boil on a medium flame. Add the diluted miso, turn the flame to very low and add the mochi and greens.

Cook for 3-5 minutes and serve garnished with ginger, toasted nori strips and scallions.

Sukiyaki -- top^

This dish is an excellent way to get high energy that is long lasting. Sukiyaki helps to open you up, so your energy flows more freely. It is nourishing and relaxing and helps to make you feel less pressured. This is a great way to serve fish for children.

Sukiyaki is a complete meal in itself and makes a great lunch or simple dinner. It can also be used as a side dish for a more elaborate meal.

Serves: 4-6 people

Preparation time: 15 minutes


1 pound white fish sliced
2 cups cooked udon noodles
1 carrot rinsed and finely sliced
2 cups Chinese cabbage rinsed and finely sliced
1 cup broccoli rinsed and cut into florets
1/2 cup string beans rinsed and halved
1/2 cup scallions rinsed sliced in half inch pieces
1/2 cup spring water
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon shoyu
1 tablespoon mirin


Cast iron skillet with lid or heavy pot with lid


Warm the skillet on a medium flame for
a few seconds. Add the oil and warm for
a few seconds.

Place the vegetables, fish and noodles in sections around the pot.

Add the water, shoyu and mirin. Cover with a lid and steam on a high flame for about 5 minutes. Serve hot from the skillet.

To shallow fry the tofu, heat a small amount of sesame oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, add the tofu. Cover with a lid and fry on a medium flame for about 3 minutes. Turn the tofu over and fry on the other side for 3 minutes more. Remove tofu and drain.

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