Miso-simmered Mackerel

Mackerel simmered in miso is a classic recipe. It is so popular that you can even find it pre-cooked in cans.

Miso-simmered Mackerel
Photographed by Shin Ebisu

Recipe by
Takuji Takahashi






Calorie count is per serving.

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 1 mackerel fillet (Approx. 180 g)
  • 1/2 bunch Japanese green onions
  • 10 g ginger (thinly sliced)
  • [A]

    • 100 g miso

      Smooth miso paste, anywhere from the sweet end of the spectrum to moderately salty.

    • 30 g sugar
    • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 50 ml sake
  • 200 ml water



Cut the mackerel into quarters and make X-shaped cuts into the skin side of each. Bring water to a boil in a frying pan and briefly dip the mackerel in.


Dip the mackerel into the boiling water to remove fishy smell, and then take it out with a mesh skimmer as soon as the surface of the meat changes color.


Discard the water in the frying pan and combine 200 ml of water, 50 ml of sake, and the ginger in the frying pan, and bring to a simmer. When it comes to a simmer, add the mackerel, skin side up. Cover with a drop lid made of aluminum foil or other material, then simmer over medium heat for about 5 min, then skim off any foam and reduce heat to low.


Simmering the mackerel in a simmering broth that contains sake and ginger helps to minimize the "fishiness" of the mackerel.


In a bowl, combine the ingredients for [A] with about 4 tbsp of the simmering broth, and stir to dissolve the miso.


Pour the contents of the bowl into the frying pan and simmer for 10-15 min, occasionally ladling some of the simmering broth on top of the mackerel. Slice the Japanese green onions diagonally and add them to the pan. Bring just to a simmer.


Add the miso by first dissolving it in a small amount of the simmering broth, then pouring that in. Ladle the simmering broth over the mackerel to coat the surface of each piece.


Serve with the simmering broth poured over top to taste.