Grilled Mackerel (Saba Shioyaki)

Mackerels are relatively inexpensive compared to the more popular fishes such as salmon. When they go on sale, I would buy them from the frozen section where the mackerels are prepared and sold in fillets of 4 and store them in the freezer along with my other seafood stash.

Being oily fish, have high amounts of omega-3s. These good fats are known to reduce blood pressure and decrease the levels of cholesterol in your body.

This dish is very easy to prepare and cook because the entire cooking process is time-based. I would make Saba Shioyaki when I want to cook something simple to go with rice and pair it with any side dishes that I may have in the fridge, like pickled bamboo shoots.

Grilled Mackerel (Saba Shioyaki)

Recipe by Just One CookbookCuisine: Japanese


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 2 mackerel fillets

  • 2 tbsp sake

  • ½ tsp kosher salt

  • For Serving
  • 1 wedge lemon (cut in half)

  • 1 tsp soy sauce


  • Coat mackerel fillets with 2 sake to remove fishy odour.
  • Pat dry with paper towels (and discard the sake) and transfer the fish to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Sprinkle salt on both side of mackerel fillets and let them rest at room temperature for exactly 20 minutes to draw out excess water. During this time, preheat the oven to 425ºF (218ºC) with a rack placed in the middle position. For a convection oven, reduce the cooking temperature by 25ºF (15ºC).
  • Pat dry the mackerel fillets with paper towels to remove excess water.
  • Preheat oven at 200 degrees Celsius
  • Bake mackerel skin-side down for 20 minutes, or until the flesh is golden brown

One Comment

  1. Hi, I am a fan of Yuzu salt Saba too 🙂 Using fish to replace red meat in diet is a very good idea. Its good to diversify the types of fish as well as country of origin.

    Saba sold in SG usually comes from either China or Norway (I know which country I prefer even if more expensive). Also good to add on different types of fish, eg: locally farmed Threadfin, Seabass, and the usual Norweigian Salmon

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