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Braised Mackerel with Sweet Soy and Spicy Paste

by HomeNaturallyMade
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Braised Mackerel with Sweet Soy and Spicy Paste

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:

Braised Mackerel with Sweet Soy and Spicy Paste
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.

whole mackerel
Whole Mackerel

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

Butterfly Mackerel step 1
Butterfly Mackerel step 1

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

Butterfly Mackerel Step 2
Butterfly Mackerel Step 2

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

Butterflied Mackerel
Butterflied Mackerel

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

Sear the Mackerel
Sear the Mackerel

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

Braise Mackerel
Braise Mackerel

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.

All done! Garnish with the rest of the green onions and serve.

Braised Mackerel with sweet soy and spicy paste
Braised Mackerel with sweet soy and spicy paste
Braised Mackerel with Sweet Soy and Spicy Paste

Braised Mackerel with Sweet Soy and Spicy Paste Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

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.

Ingredients

  • 2 whole mackerel, about 2.5 lb in gross weight, gutted, cleaned, and butterflied
  • 1 tsp cooking oil, see notes
  • 3 tbp sake
  • 2 tbsp natural soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Pi Xian DouBanJiang
  • 1 tsp Dou Chi
  • 1 tbsp Sugar In the Raw
  • 1 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 stalks of green onions, chopped
  • 1 small piece of ginger, about 10 thin slices

Instructions

  1. Turn the heat on medium-high, heat a hard-anodized fry-pan for 2 minutes, spray 1 tsp canola oil using a homemade oil sprayer, and then add butterflied mackerel meat side down onto the pan. Lay them flat, gently press down and cook for 2 minutes.
    Sear the Mackerel
  2. 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, most of the chopped green onions, and ginger. Pour 1 1/4 cup of water next to the fish area.
    Save a tablespoonful of chopped green onions for garnishing.
    Braise Mackerel
  3. 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.
    Braising Mckerel
  4. All done! Garnish with the rest of the green onions and serve.
    Braised Mackerel with sweet soy and spicy paste

Notes

  • See here for how-to butterfly mackerel.
  • For cooking oil, I primarily use avocado oil and canola oil.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 637Total Fat: 35gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 142mgSodium: 935mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 0gSugar: 2gProtein: 47g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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