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Hey guys, Yuto here (@sudachi.recipes)
Today's recipe is mackerel with miso! Exciting classic dish in Japan!
What is Saba No Misoni?
As I put as the title, it literally means "Simmered Mackerel With Miso", sometimes shortened as Saba Miso. It is simmered together with:
It's safe to say that it is the most common mackerel dish in Japan!
Because of the saltiness and thick taste, it pairs very well with cooked white rice! Everyone loves it!
Mackerel can be quite a strong taste, but by cooking it with miso, the flavour becomes very balanced and delicious.
Other popular mackerel dishes in Japan
There are many ways to cook mackerel in Japan such as:
- Deep fried mackerel (鯖の竜田揚げ)
- Pickled deep-fried mackerel (鯖の南蛮漬け)
- Teriyaki mackerel (鯖の照り焼き)
- Grilled mackerel（鯖の塩焼き）
- Soused mackerel (締め鯖)
Believe it or not, mackerel is one of the most popular fish in Japan!
You can use this recipe to make a Japanese set meal called "teishoku" (定食).
Teishoku always consists of:
- Main dish (meat or fish)
- A bowl of white rice
- Miso soup
- Side salad and/or pickles
Teishoku meals are always hearty and filling, there are lots of small components so it feels nutritious and never boring. I always feel happy and satisfied after eating teishoku!
Tips and tricks to make an amazing Saba no misoni at home
Seeing as this is one of the most popular washoku dishes to make at home, there are a lot of tips and tricks to share!
Here are some simple tips you can use.
Cut the mackerel into tube shape if possible
This really depends on what size of mackerel you get, but if it's big enough, it is worth cutting the mackerel into tubes.
This is because good flavour can come out from the bones.
Add the miso in two parts
As the name implies, miso is an essential for this dish, but as you might know, miso tends to lose its flavour when it's cooked for a long time or with high heat.
To avoid this, add half of miso first to flavor the fish, and then the other half at the end for finishing touch. This way, the flavor of the miso will not lose flavour while the mackerel will soak up the flavor by the first half.
When you add the last part of the miso, it's important not to cook for too long so that the flavour of miso won't be lost.
Pour boiling water over mackerel
It can be said to a lot of Japanese fish dishes, but if the fish still has some fishy odor, that odor will be transferred directly to the broth.
In order to remove the odor from the mackerel, be sure to marbling the mackerel by pouring boiling water over it beforehand. It is also important to soak the fish in cold water to remove the hardened blood afterwards.
Soaking the mackerel in cold water also tightens the mackerel's flesh and prevents the flavor from escaping.
Use ginger and spring onion
Even if you put boiling water on the fish to remove the odor, it will still have some of the characteristic smell of bluefish.
However, by adding ginger and spring onion, the specific smell will be softened even more.
For the size wise, I recommend to cut the spring onions into 4 to 5 cm pieces and the ginger into 1mm thick pieces.
Using otoshibuta to prevent dry texture
When simmering, use a drop-lid (otoshibuta) to prevent the surface from drying out, and after removing the drop-lid, pour the simmering sauce over the top as it cooks down.
You can check how to make otoshibuta from baking paper here.
Allow to cool and then slowly reduce over low heat
I mentioned this technique in Nikujaga recipe, allowing to cool down after it has been cooked developes the umami and richness of the sauce.
When your time allows, it is worth letting it cool down and then cook it again to maximize the overall flavour.Print