By Riki Shore
One of the greatest things about living in North Carolina is the availability of wild fish and seafood from just off the coast. Some of the best shrimp I’ve eaten has been in NC; ditto wild flounder. I like both of those options, but I was thrilled to find one of my favorite oily fishes at my local fish counter last week.
Spanish mackerel are related to the King mackerel, but grow to only 2 – 3 pounds. They have white oily flesh and silver skin spotted with yellow olive-shaped dots.
According to FishWatch, Spanish mackerel are an excellent source of selenium, niacin, and vitamins B6 and B12. Can’t afford fish oil supplements? Eat some Spanish mackerel a couple of times a week and you’ll be taking a big step towards balancing your essential fatty acids.
I decided to borrow a page from the Japanese playbook for saba shioyaki. Simply broil the mackerel and serve with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a sprinkle of shichimi togarashi, the Japanese seven spice blend. If you want to get fancier, see the accompaniments linked below the recipe.
This preparation makes wonderful leftovers. To reheat, drizzle with olive oil and broil until hot, about 4 minutes.
2 pounds Spanish mackerel filets
1. Line a sheet tray with aluminum foil. Pat the mackerel filets dry with a paper towel. Cut them into 2 – 3-inch pieces and place them on the foil-lined tray, skin side up. Generously sprinkle the skins with Kosher salt and let them rest for 5 minutes.
2. Heat the broiler on high. Cook the fish for 5 minutes before checking for doneness. The flesh should be opaque and the skin will just be starting to brown and crisp. If they’re not done after 5 minutes, continue cooking, checking every 2 minutes.
3. To serve, place the fish on a plate, squeeze fresh lemon juice over and sprinkle with shichimi togarashi.