Japanese mackerel with vegetables

IMG_8780Mackerel is often plentiful on Mick’s Fish stall in the summer, but this season it has been a bit scarce. Nevertheless when I get it I like to find many different ways to cook it. Continuing with my Japanese theme this summer of healthy eating, here is another simple recipe that can be part of a larger meal, with  for example Japanese sesame beans, a cucumber salad and rice. As with most far eastern recipes advance preparation makes it all so much easier. All Japanese recipes have a small amount of sugar which, if you are being purist, you can omit but in the interests of balanced flavours I keep it, though cut down on quantities slightly.

Serves 3-4 as a main

2 fillets from a large mackerel of 4 from 2 small ones
150g shitake mushrooms
thumb of ginger peeled and finely chopped
100 g shallots or onions diced
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp caster sugar
30 ml mirin
30-40 ml Kikkoman or other Japanese soy sauce
1 tbsp awase or white/pale miso


Debone the mackerel using tweezers, and then carefully scoop the flesh from the skin using a silver or other fine spoon – this works wonderfully well on mackerel. Roughly flake the flesh and set aside.

Trim and dice the vegetables – mushroom, carols and onions. Peel and dice the ginger.

Heat the oil in a wok and add the ginger and mackerel. When the fish changes you add the vegetables in this order – carrots, onions and finally shitake mushrooms.

Finally add the  sake, mirin, sugar, soy and miso and stir until most of the liquid has been absorbed.

Always serve with rice as the mackerel is oily and quite rich.

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