Growing up in a small town in rural Thailand which has a river running though the town, I ate a lot of fish when I was young. The Thai way of cooking fish normally uses the whole fish grilled or steamed. My understanding is that using the whole fish means you will get the sweetness from the bone, making the dish tastier.
We call the recipe using blue mackerel “Saba fish”, which is originally a Japanese cuisine but is seen in many restaurants in Thailand. To create this recipe, I brought the whole fish without asking the shop to clean and filet it for me, as I initially thought I will use the whole fish then changed my mind to fillet it western style. And just to let you know, it was my first time filleting fish.
Ingredients (serves 2)
• 4 Blue mackerel fillet or 2 whole fish if preferred
• 5 tbsp. soy sauce
• 2 tbsp. Mirin
• 3 tbsp. brawn sugar
• 5-7 slices ginger
• 1 tbsp roasted white sesame seed
• 1/4 cup water
• Oil to spray
• Ginger pickle to serve (optional)
• Chopped spring onion to garnish (optional)
1. In a small bowl mix soy sauce, mirin, brown sugar, sliced ginger, roasted sesame and water then set aside.
2. Spray oil on a non-stick pan on medium heat.
3. Cook the fish skin side first then the other side. It will take around 2-3 min. each side for the fillet or a bit longer if using the whole fish.
4. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside.
5. In the same pan add the prepared sauce mix and cook for about 5 minutes to reduce the sauce.
6. Turn the heat off.
7. Return the fish to the pan and sauce, making sure the sauce covers all the fish. Leave for a minute before serving.
Serve the fish with rice and salad alongside with pickled ginger and garnish with chopped onion if prefer.
It also goes well with Miso soup, which this time I used from the packet.