Mackerel Teriyaki from Nancy Singleton Hachisu's "Japan: The Cookbook"

Mackerel Teriyaki

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Serves: 6


  • ½ cup (4 fl oz/125 ml) mirin
  • 4 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger, squeezed to make juice 
  • 1 fresh mackerel (1 ⅓ lb/600 g), cleaned and filleted 
  • ¼ teaspoon flaky sea salt 

Oily fish do well with a teriyaki glaze and this is a classic way to prepare mackerel. The alternative to broiling here is to cook slowly over charcoal embers in a shichirin [brazier].

In a small saucepan, bring the soy sauce, mirin, and ginger juice to a lively simmer over medium-low heat and cook, swirling the pan, for about 10 minutes, until large bubbles appear and the liquid has reduced to a thick syrup—about a quarter of the original amount.

Cut the mackerel fillets into thirds. Holding your hand 12 inches (30 cm) above the fish, sprinkle both sides with the flaky salt (this ensures a light even coating).

Position a rack 4 inches (10 cm) from the heat source and preheat the broiler (grill).

Lay a piece of foil over a wire rack and set in a rimmed baking sheet. Broil (grill) the mackerel for 1 minute on each side, starting with the skin side up. Remove from the broiler and brush with the teriyaki sauce on the flesh side. Broil for 1 minute, flip, brush the skin side, and broil 1 more minute. Repeat the brush-and-broil method on each side. Brush and broil each side for 30 seconds more, ending with the skin-side up.

Serve hot or at room temperature on individual plates as part of a Japanese meal.

Reprinted with permission from Japan: The Cookbook by Nancy Singleton Hachisu, Copyright © 2018. Published by Phaidon Press. 

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