As you imagine Japanese people love fish! In a Japanese fish market you can find all sorts of different fish, but interestingly our favourites are different to here. In the UK people seem to prefer white fish, such as cod and sea bass. On the other hand, we generally prefer oily fish such as mackerel and sardine, partly because it’s much cheaper and abundant, but because of its depth of flavour. Of course both types of fish are lovely and we should all eat more fish. Cod has a lovely clean taste and texture which goes very well with many sauces. Mackerel, for its part, has a more complicated taste and depth of flavour with lots of umami (which also works best in smaller quantities than white fish). Personally I love mackerel cooked simply, just grilled with some salt and when cooked with a drop of soy sauce on top. Delicious! It’s so simple and tasty, but if you marinate it with Savoury Koji, it will take the dish to the another level! These oily fish contains lots of omega 3 which is essential to maintain your health at the optimum level. The key to buy the oily fish is to check the freshness. Choose the ones with clear eyes and firm flesh, then you can enjoy this easy dish but with a sublime taste (and perhaps some white wine)! If you aren’t so sure about the freshness of your fish, check my another Japanese recipe blog here ( http://inthezengarden.com/pan-fried-salted-mackerel/) where I wrote some tips to rescue not so fresh fish!
Grilled mackerel marinated with Savoury Koji
2 fillets of mackerel (If you prefer you can also use cod, salmon, etc.)
Savoury Koji 1 tbs
Garlic 1 bulb crushed
Oil (Sunflower, olive, etc.)
Mooli (Optional) grated
Lemon cut in 8 pieces
Soy sauce (optional)
1. If you buy very fresh fish, it shouldn’t be smelly, but even if the fish is quite fresh, you might still get a fishy smell. You can skip this process, but if you want to get rid of most of any smell, wash the fillets of fish very well to remove any blood, wipe them with paper towel and sprinkle some salt on. Leave them for 10 minutes. Wipe well with paper towel.
2. Put the fish in a strong sealable plastic bag with Savoury Koji mixed with crashed garlic. Get rid of as much air as possible and seal the bag. Squeeze gently and evenly from the outside of the bag to make sure the fish is covered evenly by Savoury Koji. Leave in a fridge overnight (or at least a few hours).
3. Put some oil in a cold frying pan and put the fish fillet with the non-skin side down. Turn on the medium heat. Be careful not to make the frying pan too hot, as fish can get easily burnt! A few minutes after the fillet start making sizzling noize turn the fish over and keep cooking for another few minutes.
4. Meanwhile grate mooli.
5. Serve it with grated mooli with a few drops of soy sauce and a slice of lemon. You will be amazed how juicy and tender the fish is! My kids’ favourite fish meal as well as mine, as it goes so well with cool white wine or Japanese sake!