Braised Mackerel with sweet soy and spicy paste is super delicious and full of flavor. It features a butterflied mackerel braised in soy savor coupled with a pinch of sake, sugar, ginger, and green onions. The savory soy is coming from natural soy sauce, light soy sauce, and iconic Sichuan cuisine condiments Dou Chi and Pi Xian DouBanJiang.
You will love this super tasty and refreshing mackerel made with simple ingredients and cooked in an easy, quick, and healthy way.
Braised Mackerel Ingredients:
Other than the mackerel itself, you will need sake, natural soy sauce (or dark soy sauce), light soy sauce, and sugar. You also need Chinese traditional condiments Dou Chi and Pi Xian Doubanjiang. Last but not least, the everyday Chinese cooking essential herbs, green onions, and ginger.
Sake is my go-to cooking wine for seafood. It has an enticing and refreshing taste that works perfectly for the seafood.
Dou Chi and Pi Xian Doubanjiang are ancient and tasty condiment often used together. I use both for this delicious Pan Fried Tofu. You can also use both together for the appetizingly tasty Sichuan classic food Twice Cooked Pork.
For mackerel, Norway wildly caught mackerel is common in my local store.
We use whole headless butterflied mackerel that is fully gutted and cleaned. Most grocery stores offer this cleaning option. Or you can easily butterfly at home.
How to butterfly mackerel?
You will need a quality kitchen scissor for the job.
Step 1: Cut toward the tail
While the left hand or the less dominant hand holds the fish belly up and the tail away from you, use scissors to cut open the fish all the way to the tip of the tail.
Step 2: Pick a side and disconnect it from the backbone
I typically choose the side closer to me when I am holding mackerel like this.
Your left hand continues to hold the fish, use the scissor to cut, in mini-strokes, the connecting bones along with the meat next to the backbone. Do this along the entire backbone, from the tail to the head area.
Step 3: Split the fish
That’s it. Congratulations! You have butterflied a mackerel. Trim the head with the scissor for headless, butterflied mackerel.
How to cook Braised Mackerel from scratch?
See the Recipe for a detailed step-by-step tutorial. Here are the key steps:
Sear the mackerel first
Heat a hard-anodized fry-pan on medium-high heat for 2 minutes, spray a little oil using a homemade oil sprayer. Add butterflied mackerel meat side down onto the pan, lay them flat, gently press down and cook for 2 minutes.
Flip the mackerel, add seasonings and braise for 15 minutes
Flip the mackerel with a firm while flexible slotted turner, now the meat is facing up. Add onto mackerel meat surface: Sake, Natural Soy Sauce, Light Soy Sauce, Pi Xian DouBanJiang, Dou Chi, Sugar in the Raw, chopped green onions, and ginger.
Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the lid, basting the mackerel with the juice in the pan. Add the cover back on, and cook for another 5 minutes.