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grilled mackerel rice bowl

Grilled Mackerel

  • Author: Helen
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 20
  • Total Time: 25
  • Yield: 2 1x


Bold and smoky mackerel fillets with a simple and slightly sweet soy and mirin sauce served on a bed of rice with garlicky green beans.

Serves 2.  Use the scaling buttons below to double or triple the quantity.


  • 200g (or 7oz) mackerel fillets
  • Fine sea or kosher salt 
  • 200g (or 8oz) green beans - washed and stems removed 
  • 1.5 tbsp oil - groundnut or sunflower are fine
  • 150g (or 5oz or 2/3 cup) sushi or basmati rice / a packet of microwaveable pre-cooked rice
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp mirin
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 2 garlic cloves - crushed 
  • 2 tsp sesame seeds (optional)


  1. Remove the mackerel from its packaging. Dry the fillets thoroughly with kitchen paper and place in the fridge on an uncovered plate or tray for up to 8 hours before cooking (optional but recommended for crispy skin).
  2. Set your grill to its highest heat.
  3. Take the mackerel fillets out of the fridge and place them on a sheet of foil.
  4. Place a pan of generously salted water on a medium/low heat. Add the green beans and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until you can easily place a fork through them but they are still a little firm. Remove with kitchen tongs and set aside.
  5. Wash the rice until the water runs clear and cook it according to packet instructions. You can use the same water you used to boil the beans. (note 1)
  6. While the rice cooks, place another small saucepan on a low heat and add the soy sauce, mirin, sugar and 1tbsp of water. Stir until the ingredients are combined and warmed through. Turn off the heat and set aside. (note 2)
  7. Brush both sides of the mackerel fillets with oil and sprinkle sea salt onto the skin side.
  8. Place the foil with mackerel fillets (skin side down) onto the grill pan lined with foil and grill in the middle of the oven for two minutes until the flesh becomes opaque. 
  9. Remove the fillets from the grill, turn them over so the skin side is now up and return to the grill and cook until the skin starts to crisp up.
  10. Move the grill pan up to the top of the grill for 1 more minute for extra crispy skin. Keep an eye on it and ensure you remove it before the skin starts to burn and set aside.
  11. Place a frying pan on a medium/high heat and add 1/2 tbsp oil, beans and crushed garlic. Fry the beans for a few minutes until they start to brown.
  12. Drain the rice when it is ready and divide it between the plates or bowls.
  13. Rewarm the sauce if needed. Keep half of the sauce in reserve and pour the rest over the rice portions.
  14. Add the cooked mackerel fillets to the top of the rice and place the beans on the side once cooked.
  15. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the top of the mackerel and beans.
  16. Sprinkle sesame seeds on the top if using.


  1. If you are using a packet of pre-cooked rice you do not need to wash the rice first.
  2. You can also combine the sauce ingredients in the microwave if you prefer.
  • Category: Main
  • Cuisine: Japanese


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 689
  • Sugar: 17g
  • Sodium: 1,581mg
  • Fat: 26g
  • Saturated Fat: 5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 16g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 85g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 27g
  • Cholesterol: 69mg

Keywords: grilled mackerel