Tatsuta-age Deep-fried Bastard Halibut

Normally, the rule in Japanese cuisine is to serve a whole fish with the head pointing left, but bastard halibut is always placed pointing to the right.

Tatsuta-age Deep-fried Bastard Halibut
Photographed by Masaya Suzuki

Recipe by
Tokiko Suzuki





Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 4 bastard halibut (small)
  • Half moon lemon slices, as needed
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • A pinch of potato starch
  • Vegetable oil for frying, as needed



Using a knife, scrape away the fine scales on the darker top side of the fish. Scrape off the tips of the tail and around the border.


Remove the gills and guts and wash thoroughly. Score the dark side of the fish with a crisscross pattern. Season lightly with salt and pepper.


Wrap some potato starch in gauze to form a puff. Pat both sides of the fish to dust with starch.


Place the fish in oil heated to 180°C and deep fry for one minute. Reduce the heat and slowly fry for another 7-8 minutes, turning over once. Raise the heat towards the end and fry for 30 seconds to crisp. Remove and drain.


Line a dish with a piece of folded absorbent paper. Plate up the fish so that it's facing right, and garnish with lemon slices.