Ingredients, dishes and drinks from Japan by Ad Blankestijn

Friday, March 14, 2014


Japanese Spanish mackerel. (Scomberomorus niphonius) サワラ、鰆。

A fish much consumed in Japan, as well as in Korea and China, this is one of the larger fishes in the mackerel family, with lengths to one meter and a weight of 4.5 kilograms.

Sawara is prevalent in waters around Japan and is tastiest in winter, when it has the largest fat content; it is also caught from April to June when it enters the Inland Sea (Setonaikai) to spawn. It is mainly caught by trawling, but can also be caught by line. Mackerel matures fairly quickly and produces large numbers of offspring.

Not suitable for sashimi (raw fish) due to parasites, but delicious as shioyaki (grilled with salt) or teriyaki. The white flesh is quite succulent and not for nothing is sawara regarded as the best mackerel species in Japan.

[Sawara no shioyaki - salt-grilled Japanese Spanish mackerel]