Sake Simmered Mackerel

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Sake Simmered Mackerel

Mackerel is an under-appreciated fish in many parts of the world. This recipe mellows it out by simmering the fish in sake and sweet mirin and peppery ginger. Also, it looks great on the plate and makes for an easy weeknight meal. Sake is also available in little single serving bottles so you don’t have to buy a lot (although it’s nice to drink with the mackerel).

Serves 4


  • 4 fresh Mackerel filet portions, scaled, skin on pin bones removed about 4 oz. each (114g)
  • 3/4 cup sake (188ml)
  • 1/2 cup minus 1 tablespoon mirin (125ml)
  • 1/3 cup dark soy sauce (85ml)
  • 2 tablespoons Julianne cut fresh ginger or slices (30ml)
  • Pinch sugar
  • Cooked rice for serving


  1. Set a medium-sized heavy sauté pan over medium high heat. Heat the sake until simmering.
  2. Lay in the mackerel pieces, skin side up.
  3. Return to a simmer.
  4. Pour over the mirin and dark soy sauce, sprinkle over the ginger.
  5. Wait for the liquid in the pot to come to a boil between additions.
  6. This ‘staggered’ boiling is part of the process of ridding the mackerel of odor.
  7. Finally, add the sugar.
  8. Cover it with a drop-lid or cut a circle of baking paper.
  9. Cook on high heat for about 8 minutes or until the flesh is opaque and is cooked to desired taste. This cooking time will vary pending on the thickness of the filet.
  10. Using a fish spatula carefully remove the fish from pan and place on serving plates with rice.  Drizzle with the sauce.
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