Horse Mackerel Marinated in a Mixture of Sweet and Sour Nanban Sauce and Soy Sauce

Cool down the ingredients in the marinade sauce so that they can absorb the flavor. Nanban-zuke tastes better after sitting for a little while.

Horse Mackerel Marinated in a Mixture of Sweet and Sour Nanban Sauce and Soy Sauce
Photographed by Hideo Sawai

Recipe by
Yoshiharu Doi






Calorie count is for full recipe


  • 12 horse mackerel (small) (250 g)
  • [Nanban sauce]

    • 400 ml water
    • 100 ml rice vinegar
    • 1/3 cup usukuchi soy sauce

      Popular soy-sauce originating in Kansai region. Light-colored, yet salty. Good for keeping the raw taste and color of the ingredients.

    • 40 g sugar
    • 1 piece konbu kelp (8 cm square)
    • 1 tsp dried red chili (cut into thin rounds)
  • Sweet onion (cubed), as needed

    Onions shipped right after the spring harvest before they get dry. They are flat, soft, contain more water, without a sharp taste.

  • Green pepper (cut into squares), as needed
  • Flour, as needed
  • 300 ml frying oil



Scrape away the fish scales with a knife. Squeeze the area just below the gills with your thumb and fingers, and pull out the gills and guts. Rinse the fish thoroughly, and pat dry to clean. This constitutes the rinsing processing.


When cleaning the fish, make sure to rinse inside the body cavity as well. The same applies for drying and dusting.


Cover the fish with flour, and brush off any excess flour. Combine the [nanban sauce] ingredients in a bowl.


Pour the frying oil into a 24 cm frying pan and place over medium heat. Test the temperature by sticking a pair of cooking chopsticks into the oil. If it produces tiny bubbles, it's ready for frying. Place the fish slowly into the oil, and for a moment or two raise the heat to high to compensate for the drop in temperature caused by adding the fish. When bubbles start to stream, reduce the heat to medium or below.


Once there are only a few bubbles and the fish is crisp, drain the oil and remove the fish.


Check that the sugar in the [nanban sauce] is dissolved, then marinate the fried fish. You can also marinate the fish together with sweet onions and green peppers to taste.