Grilled Whole Mackerel with Pickled Lotus Recipe

Serves/Makes: 8


  • 4 small to medium whole mackerel, trout, flounder, sole or pomfret
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • Lemon wedge, to garnish
  • 4 ounces daikon radish (about 2 inches), grated and lightly squeezed to remove moisture
  • 1/2 cup Pickled Lotus Root (see recipe below)
How to cook Grilled Whole Mackerel with Pickled Lotus:
  • Prepare the Pickled Lotus Root in advance as it needs to marinate.
  • Clean, scale and rinse the mackerel thoroughly. Dry with a paper towel and make two deep incisions crosswise on each side. Put a skewer through the mackerel. Sprinkle both sides of the mackerel lightly with salt, then press a liberal amount of salt onto the tail and fins.
  • Cook the mackerel over a moderately hot charcoal fire or under a broiler, turning it with the skewer to avoid damaging the skin, until the fish is golden on both sides and cooked through. Turn the fish only once.
  • Wrap the tail in aluminum foil halfway through to avoid it getting too charred, if necessary. Serve on a plate garnished with the lemon wedge, grated daikon and Japanese soy sauce with the Pickled Lotus Root on the side.

Pickled Lotus Root Recipe

Pickled Lotus Root Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup peeled and thinly sliced lotus root
  • 3 tablespoons Sweet Vinegar
  • 1 red chili, deseeded
  • 1/4 cup Ponzu Dipping Sauce (see recipe below)
How to cook Pickled Lotus Root:
  • Blanch the sliced lotus root in water for 30 seconds, drain and place it in the Sweet Vinegar.
  • Heat the chili in a dry pan for a few seconds, then add it to the Sweet Vinegar.
  • Pour in the Ponzu Dipping Sauce.
  • Stir and refrigerate for several hours.

Ponzu Dipping Sauce Recipe

Ponzu Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1 strip dried kelp (konbu), (about 2 inches long), wiped with a damp cloth
  • 1/3 cup yuzu orange, or lemon or lime juice
  • 1/3 cup Japanese soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tamari or dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Basic Dashi Stock or 1/4 teaspoon dashi stock granules dissolved in 2 tablespoons hot water
How to cook Ponzu Dipping Sauce:
  • Heat the dried kelp over a gas flame or under a broiler (grill) until crisp and fragrant, then put in a bowl or jar with all the other ingredients.
  • Cover and refrigerate for 3 days, then strain. Can be stored for up to a year.


Ponzu is a sauce commonly used in Japanese cuisine.


If using a long, narrow fish, put the skewer through the tail end of and out through the center, then through the head so that the fish has an "S" wave shape.

This recipe for Grilled Whole Mackerel with Pickled Lotus serves/makes: 8

The Grilled Whole Mackerel with Pickled Lotus recipe and the pictures are adopted from The Our Favorite Fish & Seafood Recipes Cookbook.

Main Ingredient: Mackerel (more Mackerel recipes)
Preparation Method: Broiled/Grilled (more Broiled/Grilled recipes)
Cuisine: Japanese (more Japanese recipes)

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