Fish is Japanese people’s favourite protein and we have so many ways of cooking fish. It is spring in Australia and I am so happy to see fresh mackerel and Spanish mackerel at my local fish market. I will share with you three of my favourite ways of cooking mackerel.

Saikyo-yaki (miso marinated grilled fish)

You can use Spanish mackerel, salmon or any white meat fish for this recipe. You can even replace the fish with pork chop or chicken fillet, too in this recipe. This meal is so easy yet looks and tastes like a restaurant dish. All you have to do is to marinate the fish fillets in miso base paste 30 minutes (or longer if you prefer) before grilling.

 

Ingredients (serves 2)
• 2 x 200 g fish fillet (Spanish mackerel, salmon or any white fish is the best)
• Salt
• 3 tbs miso (light coloured)
• 2 tbs mirin
• 1 tbs sugar
• 2 tbs cooking sake (you can substitute with very dry wine, beer or water)

 

Cooking method
1. Sprinkle salt on fish fillet, leave for 15 minutes and pat dry with a paper towel.
2. Mix miso, mirin, sugar and cooking sake to create paste.
3. Marinate your fish in the mix and leave in fridge for 30 minutes or longer. (This works well if you use a Ziploc bag.)
4. Take the fish from marinade (remove the excess paste off as it burns easily) and grill in griller (or pan fry) for about 10 minutes each side.
5. Serve with grated daikon*.

Salmon saikyo-yaki
Salmon saikyo-yaki
Marinating in saikyo-yaki mix
Marinating in saikyo-yaki mix
Daikon radish
Daikon radish
20200911_105558 small
20200911_105821 small

*Daikon
Daikon (white radish) is one of the most common root vegetables in Japan. It is used for soups and hotpots, pickles, salad and many more. It is low in calorie, but super rich in Vitamin C and great source of antioxidant.
Below is one of the most popular ways of using daikon, grated daikon. In Japan, we use special grater for it, but you can use food processor to achieve the same effect. It is often served with grilled fish or meat.

1. Peel and cut about 5 cm of daikon into manageable size for your food processor.
2. Using the finest setting of your food processor, grate daikon. You will need to do it for quite long time, or many pulse motions. You need to achieve almost puree consistency.
3. Squeeze excess water and serve on the side of your grilled fish (as a condiment).
4. For more richer flavor, you can add the following ingredients and make a special sauce. This goes well with almost anything from steak, grilled fish, chicken and pork. You can replace the green shallot sauce of recipe 2) below for a variety.

• 1 tbs soy sauce
• 1 tbs cooking sake
• 1 tbs mirin
• 1 tbs rice vinegar
• 1 tsp sugar

Fried swordfish with grated daikon sauce
Fried swordfish with grated daikon sauce

Pan-fried fish with shallot sauce

This is very moreish! You can use the same sauce for chicken karaage or any other fried dishes, too.

 

Ingredients (serves 2)
• 200g fish fillet (Spanish mackerel, sword fish, salmon, or any white fish)
• Corn flour (you can substitute with plain flour if you don’t have corn flour)
• Salt and pepper
• Oil to fry
• ½ cup green shallot finely sliced
• 1 tbs soy sauce
• 1 tbs rice vinegar
• 1 tbs cooking sake
• 1 tsp mirin
• 1 tsp grated ginger

Pan-fried mackerel with shallot sauce
Pan-fried mackerel with shallot sauce

Cooking method
1. Cut fish into bite size pieces.
2. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper, and lightly coat with flour.
3. Heat oil in frying pan and fry fish both sides.
4. Slice green shallots finely and mix with the last five ingredients.
5. Serve fried fish on plate and pour the sauce on top.

 

Miso braised mackerel

Blanched mackerel
Blanched mackerel
Miso braised mackerel
Miso braised mackerel

This is a very popular home cooked fish dish. You can replace mackerel with swordfish, sea bream or any firm white fish. Very rich in flavor, so it goes well with steamed rice and vegetable accompaniments such as steamed broccolinis.

 

Ingredients (serves 2)
• Mackerel fillets
• ½ cup cooking sake (you can replace it with very dry wine or beer)
• ½ cup water
• 2 tbs miso
• 1 tbs soy sauce
• 1 tbs mirin
• 1 tbs sugar
• 1 tsp ginger juice*
• Slivers of ginger

 

Cooking method
1. Pour boiling water over both sides of fish fillets. (this takes the fishy smell away)
2. Mix the last six ingredients and pour into a frying pan. Cook over medium heat.
3. When the sauce starts to bubble, add the fish.
4. Spoon sauce over the fish as they cook. Move the pan occasionally so that the sauce does not burn.
5. Cook about 10-13 minutes until the fish is cooked and sauce has thickened.
6. Service slivered ginger on top.
*you can get ginger juice easily if you great ginger and squeeze juice. I have a special ginger grater, but you can use cheese grater, too.

Ginger grater
Ginger grater
Grated ginger
Grated ginger
Ginger juice
Ginger juice