Asian-Style Grilled Mackerel

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Asian-Style Grilled Mackerel

This plate has different elements of diverse Asian cuisine. Japanese style -Saba Shioyaki-grilled mackerel is a famous meal, savored at any time on a day. It is a great dinner plate but a traditional breakfast menu has this staple item too. 

  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 2 people 1x



Grilled Fish

  • 1 Mackerel (filleted)
  • 2 tbsp Sake
  • ½ tsp Sea Salt

Steamed Rice

  • 2 1/2 cups Thai Jasmine rice
  • 3 cups Water
  • 2 Cloves

Chili Sauce

  • 2 tbsp Chopped Chili
  • 1 tsp Chopped Garlic
  • 1 tsp Chopped Ginger
  • 1 tsp Toasted Sesame
  • 2 tbsp. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 tsp Rice Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Fish Sauce


  • First we will coat the mackerel with sake. Sake tenderizes the fish, makes it plump and adds a great umami flavor. Pat dry the sake after letting it work on the fish for a minute.
  • Now we will salt the whole fish and leave it rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. This doesn’t only seasons the fish but it also firms up the meat and removes the fishy smell.
  • While the fish is waiting warm up the oven to the 200C or prepare your charcoal grill. At the same time we could mix all the ingredients of the sauce and let it sit and marinate so the tastes and flavors combine well.
  • For the steam rice, wash and drain the rice with cold water slowly without breaking them up. To a pot add the rice, water, cloves and salt to the taste. Bring the water to a boil with lid closed. Then lower the heat and let it simmer for 10 minutes. Take it off the stove and leave it to rest until service with the lid.
  • If you will cook the fish in an oven put it on a tray with rack so heat will transfer better from the bottom too. Cook it for 15 minutes until the skin get golden and crispy. If you are using charcoal grill, control your fire so there won’t be any direct flames to the fish. Wait until your fire turns into hot embers before starting to cook.
  • Serve the juicy fish on top of the hot steamed rice and pour generous amounts of sauce to enjoy this perfectly balanced dish!


I like to match this succulent fish with some untraditional but still Asian elements. For some heat and acidity I prefer south-east style chili sauce with some ginger and garlic. You could serve it with classic Japanese short-grain rice but I like to steam some Jasmine rice with some cloves for the beautiful perfume.

  • Author: Emrecan Ilarslan
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Pan-Searing
  • Cuisine: Japanese
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