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Spanish Mackerel with Yuzu

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    Spanish Mackerel with Yuzu on a black plate.

    While the food blog community is sharing some Irish meals, Leprechaun cupcakes, and green food for St. Patrick’s Day this Saturday, I am singing a different tune and my post for today is focused on “seasonal” food. Since the weather keeps changing between warm and cold, sunny and rain, and I’m not sure if we are in winter or spring, I thought this dish might be fun to prepare as it uses ingredients from both the winter and the spring.

    Spanish Mackerel with Yuzu on a black plate.

    Yuzu are grown in winter and Sawara, or Spanish Mackerel, is caught in spring. My blogger friend Robert-Gills from Shizuoka Gormet wrote an article about the fish here if you are curious. As I entered my 2nd year of food blogging, I’m trying to be aware of food ingredients that are in season, although seasonal changes are sometimes hard to experience living in California.

    This meal is very easy to prepare – marinate the fish and bake in the oven toaster for 25 minutes. During that time, you have enough time to prepare miso soup, rice, and 1-2 side dishes. I marinated the Spanish mackerel in the classic Japanese seasonings – soy sauce, mirin, and sake – and added yuzu zest. Poached kumquats are optional. They give nice refreshing taste and I like to eat them together with the fish. If you cannot find yuzu in your area, you can replace with lemon and adjust the flavor accordingly. If you enjoy yuzu, I have another recipe using yuzu: Pickled Turnip with Yuzu.

    Lastly, I want to share my interview with The Orgasmic Chef. What’s your favorite childhood food? Find out mine HERE!

    Spanish Mackerel with Yuzu on a black plate.

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    5 from 1 vote
    Spanish Mackerel with Yuzu | Easy Japanese Recipes at
    Spanish Mackerel with Yuzu
    Prep Time
    5 mins
    Cook Time
    25 mins
    Total Time
    30 mins
    Easy baked spanish mackerel with yuzu zest, the citrus flavor enhances the flavor of this delicious fish. 
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Japanese
    Keyword: aji mackerel, baked fish, yakizakana
    Servings: 2
    Author: Namiko Chen
    • 2 fillets Spanish mackerel (sawara) (1 fillets = 4 oz or 110 g) (rinsed in cold water)
    Poached kumquats:
    • 1 cup water
    • cup sugar
    • 4 kumquats (kinkan)
    1. Gather all the ingredients.

      Spanish Mackerel with Yuzu 1
    To Marinate
    1. Combine seasonings and yuzu zest in a Ziploc bag and add the mackerel. Marinate the fish for 2-4 hours.

      Spanish Mackerel with Yuzu 2
    To Make Poached Kumquats
    1. In a small saucepan, bring water and sugar to a boil and boil until sugar is dissolved. Then add kumquats and bring to a boil then turn down the heat to simmer for 5 minutes.
      Spanish Mackerel with Yuzu 3
    To Broil
    1. Preheat the broiler* with a rack placed about 6" (15 cm) away from the top heating element (in the middle) for 3 minutes. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy cleaning (Brush/spray the foil with oil or wrinkle up the foil so the skin doesn't get stuck). Remove the fish from the marinade and place it on the foil. Broil medium/high for 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until the surface is blistered and brown a bit. You do not need to flip it. *Typical broiler setting: Low/450ºF/232ºC, Medium/500ºF/260ºC, and High/550ºF/288ºC. I use medium or high.

    To Bake
    1. Preheat the oven to 425°F/218ºC with a rack placed in the middle. Remove the fish from the marinade and place it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake until the surface is blistered and brown a bit, about 15-20 minutes. You do not need to flip.

    To Serve
    1. Serve immediately with the poached kumquats.

    Recipe Notes

    Recipe by Namiko Chen of Just One Cookbook. All images and content on this site are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you’d like to share this recipe on your site, please re-write the recipe in your own words and link to this post as the original source. Thank you.


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