Saba Shioyaki / Grilled Saba (Mackerel)

Do you do what I do? My usual foray on what to cook depends on what I see in the supermarket, buy the main ingredient with a sort of idea on what to do with it, then search on the internet on how others cook it.

Inspired by a memory of sitting at the bar of a Japanese ‘grill house’ during hectic work days and enjoying a well deserved lunch break. The days when Japanese food was cooked and served by cooks from Japan. Very unlike the norm of these days of fast foods everywhere.

Saba or Mackerel is rated as a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, an alternative to the  salmon that we serve at home once a week. Saba Shioyaki literally means Grilled Mackerel with Salt. This recipe was taken off Nami’s Just One Cookbook website.

We will be grilling them in the oven and not on the Barbeque grill.

Saba Shioyaki/Grilled Saba (Mackerel)



4 sides of saba fillet (about 500gm)


Chinese wine (about 2 tablespoon)

Grated daikon or white radish

Lemon wedges


  • Pat dry fillets with paper towels. Lay dried fillets on a dish and pour Chinese wine over fillets. Let it rest for 5 minutes so the fillets can absorb the wine. This helps to take away the ‘fishy’ smell of the mackerel.
  • Line tray for grilling with parchment paper.
  • Remove fillets from the wine and place on prepared tray, skin side down.
  • Sprinkle tops of mackerel with salt and leave to marinate for 20 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 200ºC (400ºF).
  • Grill mackerel for 15-20 minutes or when you see the tops browning.
  • Remove and serve with a wedge of lemon & grated daikon splashed with some soy sauce and a white & purple cabbage coleslaw.


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