Catch your bluegill. You know you have a bluegill if the gills are really blue. This fish is also known as "biwakodai".
It's against the law to transport these fish or throw them back while still alive, so kill them on the spot.
Pour hot water on both sides of the fish for de-scaling. Wash with salt and scrub to remove the scales.
The fins and tail are particularly slippery, so wash these areas very well. Cut them off with scissors, if you like. The spikes are sharp so be careful.
Insert the scissors and cut along the belly, from the tail to the mouth, then gut. Wash well.
Combine the liquids to make the base for the broth, cut the lotus root into desired sizes, then heat together in a pan. Once it comes to a boil, add the bluegill. Add cuts diagonally to help the flavors soak in.
Cover with a drop-lid and simmer over low heat. Turn over occasionally and ladle the juices over the fish. Once the juices have reduced by half, turn off the heat.
Here it is garnished with greens from my garden. Enjoy!
Story Behind this Recipe
Bluegill is easily fished from local rivers, so it should be enjoyed properly. Prep your fishing gear and head out to a spot where the water is stagnant, or where there's a clump of grass growth; this is where you'll find them. Use grains of rice as bait.
Be sure to get rid of the scales and the slime. It hurts if you get stabbed by one of the spikes. The body is very narrow, so a large-sized fish is easy to consume.