A Taste of Spring with Sawara fillet!

Today's dish, Sawara no Mizoreni, is ideally cooked in early spring. Sawara or Spanish Mackerel is immensely popular in Japan. It often sells out very quickly from fish markets because of its moist flesh that melts in your mouth. The kanji or Chinese character for Sawara means "fish of spring". During winter and early spring time in Japan, Sawara is rich in omega three oil and therefore very flavourful.

 In Japanese, mizore means sleet and ni means to cook or braise. Grated daikon or white radish looks like sleet. Hence, the name of this dish is Sawara no Mizoreni—Spanish Mackerel braised with grated white radish and dashi sauce.

This recipe is quite easy for all levels, just follow along below!

Sawara no Mizoreni 鰆のみぞれ煮

Deep-fried Sawara fillet served with dashi sauce & grated daikon white radish

Serves 4


  • 4 thick slices of Sawara fillet (deboned Spanish Mackerel)
  • salt as needed
  • potato starch or corn flour as needed
  • vegetable oil as needed
  • 100g daikon (peeled and grated white radish)
  • 80g nabana (tender stem broccoli blanched in salted boiling water)

      For sauce (A)

  • 400ml 1st dashi stock (ichiban-dashi)
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar or mirin
  • 2 tablespoons sake
  • 1-2 tablespoons usukuchi soy sauce


  1. Remove bones from the fish fillet with tweezers.
  2. Place the fish, skin side down, on a tray and salt liberally to drain excess water.
  3. Dry the fish with paper towel and coat with potato starch or corn flour.
  4. Heat oil on medium heat until it reaches 180 degrees Celsius.
  5. Deep-fry the fish fillet for about 3 minutes or until crisp.
  6. Place fried fish on a tray covered with paper towel.
  7. In a large saucepan, combine all (A) and bring to a boil. Add grated white radish.
  8. Place the deep-fried fish fillet, skin side down, into the saucepan containing the sauce. Simmer, covered, for about 5 minutes.
  9. Serve fish with sauce and blanched tender-stem broccoli.

Spanish Mackerel can be cooked a number of ways and still retain its succulence, so please experiment with it. But be careful, don't cook it too long! Usually only a few minutes will suffice.

Next time on the blog, I will be sharing my experiences from my trip to Chicago, so please check back soon!

copyright © 2013 Shuji Ozeki