Presentation of sardines on a plate with lemon wedges.

Japanese Style Broiled Mackerel with Salt (Shioyaki)

Japanese Style Broiled Mackerel with Salt (Shioyaki). One of the most tasty ways to make mackerel. Just add a bit of lemon + grated daikon! | www.alldayieat.com

One of the simplest and most tasty ways to eat mackerel!! 😀

I haven’t been catching much fish recently, but this one didn’t get away!!

Since I caught this one, I wanted to show you how to make one of the simplest and most tasty preparations of mackerel.

I love to eat fish and it’s one of my favorite sources of protein and Omega-3s.

Mackerel also called saba (サバ) in Japanese, packs a ton as it’s super oily and fatty.

The belly is my favorite part!! How about you!?

Since we are salting and throwing it in the oven, it’s called “shioyaki” (塩焼き), which translated means salt grilled.

Fresh mackerel is much better than frozen

If you can get it.

I’ve found the flavor to be cleaner (less fishy) and flesh more juicy.

So I buy the whole fish when I can.

Here in L.A. the frozen is readily available, but fresh, not always.

Here is half of the mackerel after cleaning and then salted.

Cleaning the fish is the most difficult part

After that, you just salt and let it sit for 30 minutes. No less and no more than that.

The salt helps to alleviate some of the bitter/raw fish taste that you get with mackerel. (If you’ve had mackerel before, you know it can taste very fishy. But when you have very fresh mackerel, that fishy flavor is quite minimal) 

Once the salting time is up, it goes into your broiler (skin side up) and is done within 1-2 minutes max! E-Z!

Serve with a slice of lemon, grated daikon ( Japanese radish), a side of rice, and you have your meal!

Hi 5’s all around!!

Japanese Style Broiled Mackerel with Salt (Shioyaki)

February 2018 update live cooking show replay-

Here is a complete meal that I had with the other half of the fish.

I’m going to post the macaroni salad and the pan-fried kabocha recipes in the next few days. Meanwhile, my other Japanese recipes can be found on the Japanese recipes page!

So if you want to, this weekend, you can make exactly what is pictured below!! Get excited!!

Here are the other sides for the meal pictured above-

Japanese Style Macaroni Salad with Bacon, Cucumber, and Red Onion

Sauteed Kabocha with Sake and Soy Sauce

For those keen on getting started cooking Japanese food, I’ve put together a quick reference on Japanese Food Supplies that can help get you started! Check it out if you haven’t seen it yet!


Japanese Style Broiled Mackerel with Salt (Shioyaki)

Presentation of sardines on a plate with lemon wedges.

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  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 minutes
  • Total Time: 17 minutes
  • Yield: 2 people 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • 1 fillet mackerel (optional to cut into smaller pieces)
  • salt ((Use approximately 1% of the total fish weight, see note below) )
  • lemon wedge (for serving)
  • daikon (grated for serving)


  1. Clean mackerel and fillet if you are using a whole fish. Pat dry each fillet dry with a paper towel.
  2. Place the fillets on a half-sheet baking pan (lined with foil or parchment) and sprinkle salt on both sides and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Once the fish has rested with the salt, trainsfer to the broiler and broil skin side up for 1-2 minutes until cooked.
  4. Serve with lemon, grated daikon and a side of rice!


If mackerel fillet weighs 100 grams, use 1 gram of salt total to salt both sides of the fillet. It doesn’t seem like much but the fish has plenty of it’s own flavor, so don’t worry!

If you leave the fish salted longer than 30 minutes, you risk drawing out more water and making the flesh more on the firm side.

Ideally you would use a rack to broil the fish so the fat/juiced drip down a little and you can avoid pooling.


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Konnichiwa! (Hello!) I'm Pat Tokuyama, a Japanese tofu cookbook author, who travels for music, food, and adventure. If you like Japanese tea, checkout some of the newestorganic japanese tea, matcha bowls and noren and more!

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