Japanese slow cooked mackerel

At the moment I’m on a bit of a fish-fest and am trying to introduce more fish into my diet. As such we’ve got pretty experimental with some of the recipes we’re trying out at home.

This is an alternative take on mackerel. This takes a long time to cook, about three and a half hours but is well worth the wait – a great weekend dish. Original recipe from The River Cottage Fish Book.

We bought our fish from Tovey’s in Easton. Anyone who hasn’t yet been to this fishmongers is missing a trick, huge selection and very reasonably priced.

Mackerel from Toveys


1 mackerel per person
2 large, hot red dried chillies
½ fist sized piece of ginger, thinly sliced
3-4 large garlic cloves
75ml soy sauce
40ml cider vinegar
20g soft brown sugar
400ml apple juice
cayenne pepper (optional)

The actual cooking of this recipe is incredibly easy. It may take a while but there’s very little to do.

1) Put chillies, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, cider vinegar, sugar and half the apple juice in a small pan and bring to a simmer until the sugar has dissolved.

2) Tightly pack the mackerel in a heavy based saucepan (we used a cast iron cooking pot). Pour the sauce and the remaining apple juice over the fish. The fish should be covered by the sauce so add more apple juice if you need to.

3) Bring the mackerel and sauce to a simmer – it should literally just be starting to bubble. The cover and leave for three hours. You can check on the fish from time to time, adding more apple juice if needs be but don’t touch the fish.

4) Once cooked, remove the fish, set aside on a plate and keep warm. Then bring your sauce up to the boil and reduce by about a half.

Foodie tip – keep tasting the sauce throughout. The flavours are strong so if you reduce too much it could be too rich. Add more ginger / soy / apple juice / a sprinkle of cayenne pepper if needed to make sure you are happy with the flavour.

5) And that’s it! Serve with noodles or rice and steamed green veg. Our recipe recommended pak choi, we chose edamame beans and sugar snap peas.

2 thoughts on “Japanese slow cooked mackerel

  1. Carole Reply

    Great recipe. Would you be happy to put up a link to it in my Food on Friday – Asian Food Series.

  2. Mark Jones Reply

    Another mackeral recipe that goes down a treat ;


    nice article ;-)

Got Something To Say:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *