Miso Roasted Saba (Mackerel)

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After a recent reading of Bottomfeeder, I'm trying to refocus my seafood eating on fish that are more sustainable, responsibly fished, and higher in omega-3's. This means kicking most of the larger fish like tuna out of my diet and replacing them with smaller faster-maturing fish like mackerel. Just be sure to look for mackerel from the North Atlantic Ocean, as the ones found near the Gulf of Mexico tend to be high in mercury. Here's a great recipe Robin put together for roasting whole mackerel in an Asian-themed sauce.

I recommend having the fish monger gut the mackerel for you before you bring it home. At home, you'll need to bone the fish, removing the backbone before cooking per the instructions below.

Ingredients:
1 whole Atlantic mackerel
1 Tbl yellow miso
1/2 sweet onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1/3 cup sake
3 Tbl soy sauce
2 Tbl Mirin
2 Tbl rice vinegar
1 Tbl sugar
Salt & Pepper
Siracha

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and prepare fish for cooking. With the dressed fish on its back, use a sharp knife to cut on both sides of the backbone starting at the head and cutting toward the tail. Be careful during the cutting process as mackerel flesh is soft. Once cut, remove the backbone and tail, leaving the head on for presentation. Remove rib bones, realizing mackerel is a bony fish; there will be pin bones along the center line.
  2. In a 9x12 glass roasting dish combine miso, sake, soy sauce, Mirin, rice vinegar and sugar until miso dissolves. Add onion and garlic slices.
  3. Dip fish flesh side down to coat with sauce then place in pan skin side down to roast. Salt & pepper fish to taste.
  4. Place roasting dish in oven for 7-10 minutes (depending on size of fish). Fish should be slightly opaque and starting to flake.
  5. Remove fish from pan to serving plate.
  6. Place baking dish back in oven to reduce sauce (or reduce sauce in pan on stove if you're in a hurry).
  7. Pour sauce over fish and serve with rice.

If you're feeling ambitious, you can crisp the skin in a lightly oiled pan on the stove (pictured below).

Crisping Mackerel Skin

Preparation time: 15-20 minutes
Cooking time: 7-10 minutes

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