Sunday, June 13th, 2010
It's about time I posted something on grilled fish. This Build a Meal is probably the most typical Japanese meal thus far. This meal is something that could be served as breakfast, lunch or dinner. You don't necessarily have to use saba (mackerel) but I chose it because it's one of my favorite grilled fishes and there aren't as many bones as some other popular grilled fish like Sanma (Mackerel Pike/Pacific Saury)
There are a few ways you can grill your fish. The best of course would be to grill your fish on a stick over some hot coals near a river and then drizzle some soy sauce over it. Mmmmm I probably saw that on some soy sauce commercial. But realistically, you're probably only going to have a stove, oven, or toaster oven to work with. Japanese stoves usually have a nifty built in fish grilling pan (kinda like a mini broiler) that give the fish a nice charred color. If you're anywhere but Japan, you're more than likely not going to have one so I came up with a method using a toaster oven. If you don't have a toaster oven and you have a broil setting on your oven you might want to try that, but I figure it's kinda a lot of energy to waste heating up an entire oven for two little pieces of fish.
The second method I use to grill my fish is on a frying pan. Mackerel skin is delicate and usually tears easily so I like to use a small piece of parchment paper and line the frying pan first. If you use this method, fry the skin side down first for about 3-5 minutes on med-low heat and flip and fry for about 3 minutes on the other side.
Ingredients (Servings 2)
1-2 teaspoon(s) of salt
2 pieces of mackerel
2-3 tablepoons of daikon oroshi.
Also see Daikon.
Splash of soy sauce or yuzu ponzu.
1) Prepping your fish: Wash your fish with water and pat dry. Salt the fish on both sides and put back into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This helps to get rid of some of the fishiness since mackerel tends to be on the fishy side. If you're sensitive to the fishy smell you can also sprinkle with some sake along with the salt and let it sit longer than 30 minutes.
2) Use the crumb tray that your toaster oven comes with and fill it with water. This helps to keep the fish from drying out.
3) Lay the rack on top and coat it with vegetable oil.
4) Lay your fish diagonally on the racks with the skin side up.
5) Set your toaster oven on broil and cook on the lower rack for 7 minutes.
6) Transfer to the higher rack and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes until the skin starts to bubble and char.
7) Leave the fish on the higher rack and flip them and cook for an additional 4 minutes.
8) Serve with daikon oroshi on the side and add a splash of soy sauce or yuzu ponzu to it. Garnish with a lemon wedge or lemon slice.
Wash your saba and pat it dry. Rub salt on both sides and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Fill the crumb tray with water and coat the rack with vegetable oil.
Lay the fish on the rack skin side up.
Start it out on the lower rack.
The fish should look like this after moving it up to the higher rack and cooking for an additional 4-5 minutes.
Flip the fish and cook for 4 more minutes.
Saba no shioyaki served!