Learn how to make Japanese pub (Izakaya) style fish and hijiki fritter right in your home kitchen with our easy recipe shared with us by home chef Naoko.

Contributed by Naoko’s Kitchen

Our partner home chef Naoko shares her fish and hijiki fritter recipe with the world! This dish is perfect for fall picnics or a crowd-pleasing dinner party appetizer. A hearty Izakaya-style (Japanese pub) dish, this fish and hijiki fritter is so fluffy and mouth-melting that everyone will want seconds! Think of it like a Japanese versions of fish and chips. But the dish is also highly nutritious and due to the hijiki seaweed, contains numerous health benefits. All ages will absolutely enjoy this dish and it is easy to make right in your home kitchen!

What is Izakaya?

A pub-style casual drinking place, the Izakaya has been an essential part of Japanese food culture for centuries. That’s because unlike most Western pubs and bars, the focus is also on food. While plates are meant to be shared, much like Spanish tapas, there is also a great deal of culinary attention to detail when it comes to Izakaya fare. Popular items include gyoza (Japanese dumplings), yakitori and yakisoba. Seafood-based traditional Japanese plates like sashimi and grilled squid are also frequently offered. Another Izakaya trend is Japanese fusion dishes, everything from mini pizzas to hambagu, which are delicious Japanese style Salisbury steaks!

What is Hijiki?

Hijiki is one of the many different types of seaweed that Japanese people consume regularly. Like other seaweeds, hijiki is a very high source of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iodine, and is also a rich source of dietary fiber. Japanese people have one of the longest life expectancy rates globally, and many experts believe the consumption of seaweed has a lot to that statistic. You are upping the health benefits of this delicious appetizer by mixing hijiki right into the smoked fish to create these Izakaya style fritters. Who says pub fare can’t be healthy? It can!

Fish and Hijiki Fritter Cooking Tips

  • The secret to making this fish and hijiki fritter fluffy is to separate the egg yolk and the whites and whip the egg whites before adding them to the mixture. Adding whipped egg whites will make a massive difference to the finished product rather than mixing in the entire egg all at once.
  • Naoko uses haddock for this recipe, but any kind of white fish would work well.

Meet Naoko’s Kitchen

Naokos kitchen logoNaoko’s Kitchen is brought to you by Japanese cook and Culinary Artist Naoko Kashiwagi, who is currently living in Singapore. Before moving to Singapore at the end of 2019, Naoko shared her authentic taste, knowledge, and skills of Japanese food by hosting pop-ups and cooking classes in Cornwall, UK, for seven years. More than a thousand foodies from all over the world have participated in her informative and hands-on classes. They all enjoyed the entertainment of her exquisite dishes!

Her mission is simple. To entertain the customers with authentic Japanese flavors by adding subtle twists to create innovative dishes. With Naoko’s imagination and creativity, she creates new recipes using the freshest local seafood and seasonal ingredients. Her recipe mixes Japanese authenticity with innovation for your taste buds and eyes.

Fish and Hijiki Fritter

Servings 4 people


  • ½ lb Haddock Cod, or Other Whitefish, smoked
  • 2 Yellow Potato
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 stalk Celery
  • 2 clove Garlic
  • 4 Tbsp Dried Hijiki Seaweed
  • 2 Egg
  • 2 Tbsp Flour
  • ¼ tsp Baking Powder
  • Sea Salt to taste
  • Vegetable Oil for cooking
  • Lemon for garnishing


Make the mixture.

  1. Peel potatoes and carrot and cut into small pieces. Cut celery into small pieces. Peel garlic.

  2. Pour plenty of water in a small pot and bring to boil Add one tablespoon of sea salt, potatoes, carrots, celery, and garlic. Boil for about 10 minutes over medium heat, until potatoes are tender.
  3. Drain and mash the vegetables roughly.
  4. Wash dried hijiki seaweed in a strainer briefly with running water.
  5. Separate egg yolk and whites. Whisk egg whites in a separate bowl.
  6. Add the smoked fish (cut into small pieces), dried hijiki, egg yolks, flour, baking powder and a pinch of sea salt in the vegetable mixture. Mix well.
  7. Add whipped egg whites into the mixture and mix, but make sure not to mix too much to make the whipped egg whites soggy.

Deep fry the mixture.

  1. Heat plenty of vegetable oil to about 350F in a frying pan or pot.
  2. Carefully drop a spoonful of the mixture and deep fry for 2 minutes or until the balls become golden brown.
  3. Sprinkle some sea salt and serve immediately.