Japanese Mackerel

This meal was a long time in the planning, I first saw the recipe for it nearly a year ago and decided that one day I would cook it.  The chance came when we were given a two freshly caught, Whitby mackerel.  Unfortunately we had other plans and the fish, once cleaned and gutted, were popped into the freezer for using at a later date.

That date turned out to be Saturday 19th January, the recipe? Mackerel cooked for three hours, in a Japanese style.

At first I was horrified, fish cooked for three hours? Surely it would disintegrate into a mush? However it was a recipe from one of my favourites, Hugh F-W and so far he has not disappointed.

The fish is cooked at a gentle popping simmer in a broth of apple juice, soy sauce, sliced ginger, wine vinegar, sugar and chilli’s.  The kitchen was soon filled with a delicious aroma.  The simmering commenced, getting the temperature right proved a little tricky, even with a simmer mat, but we got there.

Three hours later, noodles cooked, Pak Choi steamed and we were ready to sample this unusual dish.

Think of tinned mackerel.  You have the texture, but not the taste.  I wonder if that is how tinned mackerel is produced;  I feel a Google moment approaching.

Now the texture may be reminiscent of tinned fish, the taste however, was not.  It was clean, fresh, light and delicious.  None of the richness we associate with grilled or pan fried mackerel either.

Served on a bed of lightly sesame oiled noodles and a side order of steamed Pak Choi.  The broth had been reduced by half so had acquired a good depth of flavour, poured over the fish and Pak Choi, the dish came alive.  Certainly a dish we will be repeating and one I would love to cook for guests. Anyone up for it?

Two good sized fish was just a little too much for us, so the remaining mini fillets were placed in a container with the remaining broth, ready for another day.

Mackerel cooked for three hours? Yes, it works.





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