Miso Simmered Mackerel

This lovely simmered mackerel dish is a classic in Japanese home-cooked washoku. The melt-in-your mouth texture of the mackerel harmonises beautifully with the salty sweet miso sauce.

This is a very popular Japanese recipe for home cooks. The relatively strong flavour of mackerel simmered in miso sauce pairs especially well with the neutral taste of white rice. You can find mackerel canned in Japanese supermarkets. Try it as a base for more explorative recipes including maple syrup, honey or umeboshi – feel free to experiment!

Mackerel is full of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and is considered quite sustainable, but freshness is key to its taste. Make sure to look for mackerel that has shiny skin, bright eyes and is firm to the touch. The best season for mackerel is usually late summer to autumn, but can often be found year-round.

5 from 1 vote

Miso Simmered Mackerel

Servings 4 people
Prep Time 2 minutes
Cook Time 38 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes


  • 4 filets mackerel
  • boiled water
  • 4 tbsp red miso paste
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp mirin
  • 2 tbsp sake
  • cup dashi
  • 30 g ginger


  • 「PREP」Put the mackerel in a strainer and pour some hot water over it to remove the slightly fishy smell. Slice the ginger.
    Miso Simmered Mackerel - Preparation
  • Mix all the sauce ingredients and put in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until warm.
    Miso Simmered Mackerel - Step1
  • Add the fish to the saucepan skin side down, and cook over medium heat for five minutes, constantly covering the surface with sauce.
    Miso Simmered Mackerel - Step2
  • Remove from heat and set aside, leaving the fish to soak for 30 minutes to an hour.* Gently heat it up again in the saucepan before serving (but don’t boil).
    Miso Simmered Mackerel - Step3


*Giving the fish some resting time allows it to fully absorb the flavours of the miso sauce. You can cook up some side dishes while it soaks. If you don’t have time and skip this step, it’s not the end of the world, but you will be missing out!
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: Fish, healthy, Miso

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