Glazed mackerel Japanese Style

Another recipe from Soho’s burgeoning Little Tokyo on Brewer Street. This is in essence mackerel teriyaki with the addition of some Chinese ingredients and vegetables.


  • 2 mackerel, approx. 500 g each, filleted
  • 6 tbsp Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp mirin or sweet sherry
  • 1 × 2 cm piece fresh root ginger, peeled (reserve the peelings)
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 small bunch coriander, leaves picked clean of stalks, washed and dried
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into fine ribbons with an open-ended potato peeler
  • 6 large spring onions, trimmed and split lengthways
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 large fresh red chilli, seeded and cut into minute strips


Making the Sauce

In a small saucepan heat the soy sauce and mirin together, then add the ginger peelings, a little water, the star anise and, if you can be bothered, the coriander stalks, well rinsed and chopped. Leave all these to simmer for about 10 minutes, but make sure it is a simmer and not a boil – the glaze you are making must not reduce at all at this stage.

Cooking the Fish

Cut the fish fillets into 70 g pieces. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, and press the mackerel in, skin side down. Keep pressing lightly to stop the fillets from curling. Obviously this pressing is a little tricky as you are, after all, sticking your fingers into a hot pan. The process only takes a few seconds, however. Leave the fillets to cook for 2 minutes without fiddling with them or attempting to turn them.

Add the vegetable ribbons, garlic, chilli and the sieved soy glaze. Boil for 1 minute, then turn the fish (careful, it will be a bit fragile). By this time the glaze should be getting thick and syrupy.


Serve immediately: the collapsed vegetables on the bottom, the fish skin side up, and a small quantity of sauce drizzled on top. Scatter with the coriander leaves.