Kanako's Kitchen

Hakusai and tuna fish nimono

Posted in main dish, Recipe, side dish, today's meal by Kanako Noda on July 30, 2012

Japanese food has this image as fussy and sophisticated, but of course busy Japanese people need quick-and-easy recipes to feed hungry families just like anybody else.

This  braised dish is one way my mother solved that perennial “so, what’s for dinner?” problem:  unbelievably delicious, made from ingredients that cost next to nothing, healthy and ready in just a few minutes.

When you find you’ve bought a bit too much Napa Cabbage (hakusai) and you’re not  sure how to finish it all, this is the solution.


  • Hakusai (Napa cabbage): 1/2
  • Canned tuna: 133 g./4oz can (I use tuna packed in water, but oil-packed tuna could also work well)
  • Sugar: 2 and 1/2 tablespoons
  • Soy sauce: 3 tablespoons
  • Sake: 3 tablespoons


  1. Cut the hakusai in big chunks
  2. Open the tuna can
  3. Throw all the ingredients into a heavy casserole (a.k.a. a Dutch Oven).
  4. Mix throughly and turn on the heat.
  5. Cook covered for about 15 – 20 minutes over medium heat.
  6. Serve with rice.

Today’s meal: this dish alongside rice, miso soup, and steamed broccoli.

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7 Responses

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  1. Dani said, on June 4, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Just came across your website! Thanks for the wonderful recipes, I hope you post more soon!

  2. Tom said, on June 27, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    Same here, great website, please keep it going if possible!

  3. Shonan Love said, on November 2, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Frankly speaking, I find only Japanese dishes requiring some degree of fuss, or at least a small amount of it, such as niku jaga, are worth the trouble.

    Stuff like this (I tried the receipe, yes) is just not good and is easily bested by the ”done-in-5-10-minutes’ dishes of other cuisines.

    No, this doesnot include Western/American quick-prepare dishes (casseroles et al) – they are really just the worst, health and blandness-wise, of any cuisine.

  4. Kirsten said, on February 7, 2014 at 3:21 am

    This was super delicious! Thank you! Continue your good work 🙂

  5. The Sushi Knife Store in Austin, TX. said, on February 21, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Canned tuna is so versatile and healthy, thanks for sharing this recipe!

  6. AnnaSan said, on June 21, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Reblogged this on Everything Anna and commented:
    Just bought napa cabbage and am making this for dinner tonight! 🙂

  7. Vanessa said, on July 18, 2014 at 1:57 am

    Awesome! Thanks!

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