Friday, April 22, 2011

Korean-Style Grilled Mackerel

This seems to be the season for me to try new fish!  Today it is Mackerel.   Mackerel is well-known for its numerous health benefits.  It ranks right up there with the other oily fishes like Salmon and Sardines as being food for the brain and the heart. Many people take fish oil capsules to substitute but nothing can be better than getting your oils from directly from the fish. 

Before you all rush out to buy you a mackerel fillet for grilling, I should offer up a fair warning.  This fish is, well....fishy!  It needs to be eaten as fresh as possible and you should anticipate a nice, rich, fishy aroma during cooking.  That being said, if you can overcome the smell, the taste isn't bad. 

In Korea, Mackerel is grilled and enjoyed with medium grained rice. Koreans would also serve at least 2 or 3 vegetable side dishes to round out their meal.  I find that Mackerel stands up well against the strong flavors of Sauteed Rainbow Swiss Chard and Pickled Beets; two of my family's favorite "panchan" (that means "side dish" for those who don't speak Korean).  Heat up the grill, get out your chopsticks and give this Mackerel a try!

Korean-Style Grilled Mackerel

1 Mackerel fillet
1 wire-mesh fish grilling basket
  1. Heat the grill.
  2. Rinse the mackerel fillet under cold water.
  3. Open the wire-mesh basket.
  4. Place the fillet, skin side down, on the bottom half of the basket.
  5. Sprinkle the fleshy side of the fish with salt.
  6. Close the basket and secure.  The fish should be squished tightly inside the basket.
  7. Place the fish, flesh side down, on the hot gril.
  8. Cook for about 7 minutes, or until the fish begins to brown, then flip the basket over.
  9. Cook the skin side of the fish for about another 7 minutes, or until the skin begins to crisp and brown.
  10. Remove from the basket and place on a serving plate.
  11. To eat, use your chopstick to break off a piece of fish.  Eat both the flesh and the skin with a bite of rice.

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