• 450 gm (1 lb) of fugu, or other firm-flesh fish such as red snapper or monkfish, cut into chunks
  • 1 litre (4 cups) dashi
  • 1 block of medium tofu, cut into 4
  • 240 ml (1 cup) of roughly chopped hakusai
  • 1 large negi (green onion), cut on diagonal
  • Enoki and shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 bunch of shungiku
Ponzu Sauce:
  • 2 sudachi or limes, juiced
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 30 gm (1 oz) katsuobushi flakes
  • Daikon, grated
  • 2 chopped scallions

  • 2 cups of rice
  • 2 eggs
  • chopped scallions

Fugu Tetchiri (blowfish hot pot with ponzu sauce)


Fugu is difficult to find outside of Japan, but a recipe for Fugu is most definitely intriguing. Fugu tetchiri, or "nabe in an iron pot" is synonymous with winter..  Most Japanese diners enjoying Fugu don't have fearful thoughts because of this food.

You can substitute a firm and meaty type of fish such as monkfish, and your nabe will be almost as delicious. Or, substitute chicken, as the dense texture of fugu is closer to fowl than fish. The secret to great nabe of any variety is the ponzu sauce. Lime can be substituted for the sudachi .

  1. In Japan, it's popular to prepare nabe dishes at the table on a portable range. If you don't have one, it's fine to cook the entire nabe on the stove and then bring it to the table, piping hot. If you own an iron nabe, it's a perfect pot but any kind of attractive pot works well. Place it on a substantial hot plate, or a thick, flat block of wood to protect your dining table.
  2. First, prepare the ponzu sauce. It's worth it to make your own, as it's at its most flavourful when fresh. Store bought ponzu contains too much vinegar and isn't the same thing. Bring the soy sauce and mirin to a boil, then immediately remove from the heat and add the katsuobushi. Soak for 10 minutes. Strain and let it cool before adding to the sudachi or lime juice and vinegar. Leftover ponzu keeps for several weeks in the fridge, but loses its intensity as time goes on.
  3. Prepare the vegetables, in order to have them ready. Bring the dashi to a soft boil. Add the fugu and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Then add the harder vegetables such as carrot,negi and the white part of the hakusai. Also add the mushrooms. Next, add the softer vegetables and tofu.
  4. Serve the nabe  communally with the pot in the middle of the table. Diners pick pieces with their chopsticks and scoop soft ingredients like tofu with a small strainer made specifically for nabe. Dip the piping hot morsels into small individual bowls filled with ponzu sauce. Serve with grated daikon and chopped scallions (Replenish as needed).
  5. The soup that is made from the nabe is ladled into the individual serving bowls towards the end of the meal. Full of flavor, this delicious soup can be enjoyed with or without ponzu or condiments.

Fugu Zosui
  1. At the very end of the meal, scoop the leftover pieces out of the nabe, and put it back on the burner.
  2. Return to a boil, and add two cups of cooked rice. Cook for 10 minutes.
  3. As the rice thickens the soup, it turns into a sort of savory porridge akin to Italian risotto, called zosui.
  4. Just before serving, turn off the heat, whisk two raw eggs in a bowl, and add all at once to the nabe.
  5. Stir just once, and serve immediately in rice bowls.
  6. All the best flavors of the nabe are intensified by the rice and soup, and some people say the zosui is the best part of the meal.
Fugu (blowfish)

This famed fish is known for the deadly poison contained in its liver and ovaries, which causes muscle paralysis and can be lethal if not prepared correctly. Regardless of this, it is a delicacy that is enjoyed in the winter months, usually in a delicious dish called tetchiri. Restaurants throughout Japan offer set courses around this main course, which is a hot pot with fugu, tofu and vegetables, simmered at your table and served with ponzu sauce. Before this, tessari, thinly sliced and artfully arranged fugu sashimi is served, as well as fugu kara-age (fried blowfish) and other dishes. When cut up, fugu resembles chicken more than fish, and has a similarly dense meat and unusual flat – instead of spiny – bones, which are high in gelatin. There is very little danger in dying from poisoning these days, as chefs must be specially licensed – passing a rigorous test – in order to prepare fugu.