An expertly grilled fish stands out as one of the simplest to prepare — and most satisfying — dishes to complement crisp tsukemono pickles, a comforting bowl of miso soup and the staple of steaming hot rice. There are many incarnations of grilled fish in Japan. Almost every home is equipped with a gas-fired sliding drawer under the range top to execute these many variations of grilled fish.

Some homemakers, however inclined they might be to serve hot grilled fish, don't like the burned drippings of a home grill smelling up the house. Options include buying pregrilled fish from the supermarket or local fishmonger. While the rice and soup are always served hot, the main courses — the o-kazu (food to complement rice) part of the meal — are very often served at room temperature in Japan.

When cooking for just a few at home, it is not necessary to pre-cook simple grilled items, especially if the household members don't object to the smell of good food being prepared.