Grilled Salted Mackerel |Saba-no-Shioyaki

Grilled Salted Mackerel |Saba-no-Shioyaki

Today I want to share with you, Grilled Salted Mackrel.


I have a fillet of fresh Japanese mackerel, with the spine attached.

This is called Sesame mackerel which has a pattern like black sesame seeds on its skin. It’s in season in summer and tastes very nice.

Japanese mackerel is lean compare to Norwegian, it tends to lose its fat and moisture while cooking, so I recommend purchasing the fillet with a spine. 

Or you can buy a whole fish and you can fillet it by yourself.

But it’s summer, and I don’t want to keep garbage with a fishy smell, I always buy a filleted mackerel. 

I am going to prepare this for dinner.

It’s an easy and simple recipe, but don’t skip the process making a good grilled mackerel.

I think simple dishes need more care than a complicated one. 

How to prepare

1)Rinse well a fillet of mackerel under cold running water, and remove blood.

2)Pat dry and cut the mackerel into the serving portion.

I want it to be a good portion to serve with the other side dishes.

Cut into 4 with the angle.

Score the surface to cook through quickly and evenly.

3)Sprinkle salt liberally on each sides.

The amount of salt is about 1 % of the weight.

Place it on a wire lack, to drip off excess moisture from the mackerel.

A mackerel may have unwanting smells sometimes.

Salt would eliminate the smell, and the salt penetrates the mackerel to make it tastes good.

Leave it at least 30 mins, up to overnight.

4)Rinse it again and pat dry.

5)Sprinkle a small amount of salt to season just the outside. This salt brings out the Umami from the mackerel.

If you are choosing a salted mackerel, skip this process.

How to grill

I’m going to grill in the griller as usual, but you can use a frying pan.

A frying pan

1)Line the pan with a parchment paper, and place mackerel skin side up.

Cook on medium-low with the lid on for 5 mins

2)Flip it over and cook 3 to 4 minutes more until the skin side is browned.

Installed griller in the Japanese kitchen or an oven

1)start grilling on the skin side up.

Cook on medium-low for 3 mins.

The griller has an upper heat only, so we have to flip it over.

2)Flip over and cook 3 minutes more, and flip it over again to make the skin crispy.

3)Turn the heat to medium-high and cook until bubbling.

Keep your eyes on it avoid over cooking. 

There you have it! 

The mackerel is fluffy and tastes so good.

With no unpleasant smell at all!

Mackerel is the most powerful “Brain Food”

Mackerel is said that “the most powerful brain food,” contains unsatulated fatty acid.

We eat it quite often at dinner table.

We have a lot of recipe for mackerel, fresh or can; please let me know if you want to see more! 

Give it a try and let me know how you like it!

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