Saba Misoni (鯖の味噌煮)

Saba Misoni

We got a free frozen saba (mackerel) from the Japanese food distributor few weeks ago. I seldom cook mackerel, hardly buy it actually. I like all kind of fish but tend to buy the same ones when cooking it myself, and T seemed to be good friend of snapper only. Since J has started solid food few months ago, the frequency of fish dishes appear on dining table has increased. Not only for its nutrition but also it is one of the few things that he can chew.

鯖の味噌煮 - Simmered Mackerel in miso sauce is one of the common home cook Japanese dishes. It is sometimes served with grated diakon (radish) over the top or at the side, and a bowl of steamed rice. Simmered fish is now one of my favourite dishes to cook, simple, quick and healthy - suitable for a really "busy" people like me.

This dish calls for sake, but sake in our home would not last long. I used Chinese cooking wine instead of sake, not only for this dish but most of the Japanese dishes that called for sake. Read from somewhere, sake is usually added to fish dishes to soften the fish. Let me know if I remember wrongly.

Ingredients (4 servings):

  • 2 saba / mackerel fillets
  • 3-4 slices ginger root
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp sake / Chinese cooking wine (shao xing jiu)
  • 3 tbsp miso paste
  • Spring onion or any green for garnish


  1. Bring together water, ginger, soy sauce, sugar and 2 tablespoons of miso paste in a pot. Whisk or stir until miso is dissolved, bring to boil on medium heat.
  2. Add in fillet and simmer for 8-10 minutes on low heat. Constantly pour sauce over the fillet. Add more water if necessary.
  3. Add in 1 tablespoon of miso in the sauce, stir well and bring to boil.
  4. Once boiled, turn the heat off. Transfer fillets onto a plate, garnish and ready to serve.

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