Sanma or Pacific Saury is one of the most well-known seasonal fish representing autumn in Japanese cuisine. It’s usually salted and grilled whole even with intestines intact, and served with grated daikon and soy sauce to intensify the flavor of the fish.
Cut the fish in half diagonally (to fit in my toaster oven). Place the fish vertically on the cutting board and insert a knife in the stomach side from top to bottom. Wash and get rid of the gut thoroughly in cold water. Wipe the entire fish dry with paper towels.
In a bowl, put the fish and sake and leave it for 5 minutes. Sake helps to make the fish fluffier and to remove the unwanted smell.
After 5 minutes, remove the moisture on the fish with paper towels. RIGHT BEFORE broiling/baking, sprinkle both sides of the fish with salt.
To Broil (Recommended)
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). Place the hamachi kama on the foil, skin side down. Broil it medium/high until the surface is blistered and brown a bit, about 8-10 minutes, flipping once. *Typical broiler setting: Low/450ºF/232ºC, Medium/500ºF/260ºC, and High/550ºF/288ºC.
To Bake (Optional)
Preheat the oven to 425°F (218ºC) with a rack placed in the middle and bake the fish on parchment paper until the surface is blistered and brown a bit, about 10-15 minutes, flipping once.
Serve with a lemon wedge and grated daikon. Drizzle soy sauce over the grated daikon and enjoy it with the fish.
You can keep the leftovers in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.