Deep-fried Horse Mackerel

What would you put on deep fried Aji (mackerel)? Japanese Worcestershire-style sauce, tartar sauce, soy sauce, or…? The possibilities are endless!

Deep-fried Horse Mackerel
Photographed by Takeshi Noguchi

Recipe by
Eiko Oba






Calorie count is per serving.
Does not include time needed to soak the cabbage in water

Ingredients (Serves 2-3)

  • 6 fillets horse mackerel (sashimi grade) (180 g)

    Three fish filled, skinned and deboned.

  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of pepper
  • Flour, as needed
  • Beaten egg, as needed
  • Panko breadcrumbs, as needed
  • Oil for deep frying, as needed
  • 1/6 head cabbage (200 g)
  • 1 tomato



Cut the cabbage into thin shreds, then crisp them by saoking them in water for a couple of minutes. Drain thoroughly. Cut the tomato lengthwise in half, remove the stem and cut into six equal wedges. Pat dry the fish fillets with a paper towel and sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides.


Dust the fillets with flour, dip into the beaten egg and coat with panko breadcrumbs. Press down firmly to bread the fillets.


Pour vegetable oil into a frying pan to a height of 2 cm. Place over medium heat and heat to 170-180°C. Then lower in three fillets. Fry for a couple of minutes, then turn over and fry for another minute. Remove and drain. Remove breadcrumbs from the oil with a mesh skimmer and fry the remaining fillets.


Frying temperature: Wet the tip of a chopstick and wipe off the moisture. Dip the chopstick into the oil. If this causes tiny bubbles to rise, the temperature is about right. Hold the tail end of the fillet and gently lower it into the oil. This is safer than using chopsticks as you are unlikely to drop the fillet and splatter the oil.


Plate up and serve with cabbage and tomatoes. Drizzle with sauce to taste.


Sanmai-oroshi (Filleting)

Refers to separating a fish into three pieces-two fillets and the backbone. Make sure to use a sharp knife.

  1. Holding the pectoral fin out of the way, scrape off the scales with the tip of the blade.
  2. Lay the blade at an angle and, starting from the tail, remove the hard, plate-like scales called scutes. Repeat 1 and 2 for the other side.
  3. Cut off the head at a point just behind the pectoral fin.
  4. Cut off a section from the head end to the cloaca (posterior orifice) and remove the guts with the tip of the blade.
  5. Thoroughly wash the fish, especially the cavity, and pat dry.
  6. Starting from the head end, separate one fillet from the bone, keeping the blade as close to the bone as possible.
  7. Turn the fish over and remove the second fillet, also from the head end.
  8. Lay the blade flat to slice off the rib bones.

Suitable ingredients:
Horse mackerel, mackerel, etc.