Yakizakana with Oroshi Daikon

Yakizakana is fish cooked over high heat which can include various methods such as frying, grilling, roasting and broiling.  A daikon is a giant white radish and oroshi means “grated”.  Grated daikon is a popular dipping sauce that is used with fish.

Yakizakana is fish grilled over high heat. The word “yaki” means ”to temper” and the word “sakana” means fish.  Most Japanese kitchens are equipped with fish roasters, but yakizakana can be prepared over a grille, cooked in a frypan, or roasted in an oven.

Yakizakana is available at most Japanese restaurants, izakayas, and barbecue shops.  Many restaurants feature local fish on the menu.

Silver Mackerel from Hachinohe in the Tohoku Region

Fish grilled yakizakana style features crisp and usually edible skin, while the fish is often juicy and packed with flavor.

Yakizakana with Oroshi Daikon

  1. This recipe features mackerel which is a thin and oily cut.  The fish is lightly salted prior to cooking.  If you are using unsalted fish, you should add some sea salt to each side prior to cooking.  Other than the oroshi daikon and lemon, the only other flavoring I like to use is salt.  The dish is meant to feature the flavor of the fish, so it’s good to avoid extra seasonings.

The better of a job deboning and scaling the fish, the more enjoyable it will be.  If you are not a well-versed at preparing fish, most fish markets or Asian groceries that carry fresh fish have staff that are experts in taking care of this for you at no additional charge.

PREP COOKING YIELD
5 mins 1 serving
PREP
COOKING 5 mins
YIELD 1 serving

Ingredients:

  • One 1/4 lb salted mackerel filet, deboned and scaled with skin on (salmon, flounder, or your favorite fish can be substituted)
  • 2 cups of uncooked bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup of grated daikon radish
  • 2 tsps ponzu sauce
  • 1 chopped scallion
  • 1 TBSP Rice Bran oil (or other cooking oil)
  • 1/2 of a small lemon

Instructions:

  • Using a small frypan, fry the fish in the cooking oil over high heat for 2-3 minutes until the skin is crispy and browned.  Do not allow the skin to burn.

  • Turn the fish and continue to fry for 2-3 minutes skin side up.  Cook the fish through but do not burn it.

  • Add the bean sprouts to the pan and cook on high for another 1-2 minutes to soften the sprouts and finish the fish.

  • Serve the fish skin side down with sprouts on the side.  Put the oroshi daikon on the plate and spoon the ponzu on to the grated radish to flavor.  Add lemon to the plate and top it off with chopped scallion.

Notes:

  • Be sure to use fresh fish and to cook it through thoroughly.  The cooking times in this recipe will work for thin fillets like mackerel and flounder, but thicker cuts like salmon require additional cooking time.
  • Make sure to crisp the skin.  This can create a strong odor so be sure that you are cooking in a space with adequate ventilation.

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