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Grilled Mackerel (Saba) with a Daikon Dipping Sauce, Japanese Style

It is the sort of dish that would appear in my kitchen when I doesn’t have time, or the inclination, to go to the market. As a matter of fact, I haven’t made this with any fresh mackerel within hours of its being caught. What has always been used is a pack of frozen mackerel fillets found in supermarkets.

To send away any unpleasant smell of the fish, you shall see I have put a twist on the original saba shioyaki, that is salted-grilled mackerel in Japanese.

Grilled Mackerel (Saba Shioyaki) with a Daikon Dipping Sauce, Japanese Style

I added a pinch of ground white pepper as one of the marinades, and roasted the fish on a bed of lemon slices (if you have access to fresher mackerel as most saba shioyaki used, you may skip this step).

The broiled fish was then paired with the acidic dipping sauce, made from daikon, vinegar, soy sauce, sugar and sake. That’s it, we (mainly I, because hubby is not a fan of mackerel) enjoyed the oily fish without feeling it greasy.

Hope you like this too, also enjoying the benefits of eating mackerel which is packed with omega-3 fatty acids.

Salt Grilled Mackerel (Saba Shioyaki) and a Daikon Sauce, Japanese Style

  • Ingredients
  • 1 mackerel (saba) fillet, ~120g, cleaned
  • 1/4 lemon slices, thinly sliced into half-rounds
  • sea salt, ~ 1/4 tsp
  • pinch of ground white pepper,
  • double or multiply the ingredients as required
  • Dipping sauce
  • ~ 1/2 tbsp grated daikon (Japanese white radish)
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp sake
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sugar

Salt Grilled Mackerel (Saba Shioyaki) and a Daikon Sauce, Japanese Style

The lemon slices not only give the fish a refreshing flavor but also help keep it succulent.

Salt Grilled Mackerel (Saba Shioyaki) and a Daikon Sauce, Japanese Style

There might be juice leached out from the grated daikon, sample the taste to decide if you’d like to add it to the sauce (sometimes it may taste bitter if not in the season).


Rinse fish fillet, remove any black membrane on stomach walls. Blot fish fillet dry with paper towels. Sprinkle salt and white pepper all over, both sides, smoothing out the marinades as much as possible. Let it sit in fridge for about 30 minutes, covered with cling film if required. The salt might expel water from the fish, blot dry again if any.

Preheat oven to 200 degree C. Arrange lemon slices on baking tray (I lined with foil and parchment paper for easy cleaning) in the shape that will roughly fit the fillet.

Place fish fillet skin side up on the lemon slices. Roast for about eight minutes, or until the meat is white throughout, and place near the broil to grill for another one minute or two. Serve with dipping sauce.

For the dipping sauce, mix well vinegar, sake, soy sauce and sugar. Then put it in a dipping bowl or dish and add in freshly grated daikon.

For a complete meal, serve with picklemiso soup, and rice.

Salt Grilled Mackerel (Saba Shioyaki) and a Daikon Sauce, Japanese Style


Note: The oven I used is a counter top toaster oven of 1800W.

By | 2017-10-25T11:57:00+08:00 10月 25th, 2017|Uncategorized|20 Comments

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