japanese salt-grilled fish (shioyaki)

Japanese salted grilled mackerel  

Salt grilled fish (Shioyaki) is one of the Japanese dishes I ordered a lot especially as set lunch in Japanese restaurants or in yakitori  restaurants.

It is another effortless recipe which can bring out the flavors and retain the freshness of the fish. In Japanese cuisine, whole mackeral or mackerel fillets are commonly used. Other fishes or boneless fillets (with skin on) can also be used such as salmon and hamachi. Some Japanese restaurants even offer salt grilled fish heads or belly, probably not your favorite picks for most of you but if you have the courage to try one day, they are actually more juicy and contain more fish oil.

Here I have grilled some mackerels, you can serve one fish per person. For mackerels, choose the bigger ones if you can. This time I had rather small fish so each person I served two.


  • 2 whole mackerel, sardines or other small fishes cleaned, gutted or fish fillets with skin on (e.g. salmon)
  • Sea salt
  • Daikon (or also called mooli or white radish),  finely grated & squeeze out excess juice
  • light Soy sauce
  • Lemon wedges



  1. Using a knife, make a few cuts diagonally on both sides of the fishes (if the fish is relatively big in size)
  2. Lightly salt fish  by sprinkle on both sides and leave for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Grate the daikon in the meantime and set aside.
  4. Put the fishes under a grill for about 5 minutes on each side until golden brown & crispy .
  5. Place  grated daikon and lemon wedges placed next to the grilled fish.
  6. Pour soya sauce in individual small plates.
  7. Serve immediately with steamed rice or as one of the dishes or with other yakitori dishes.
  8. Remove the skin, drizzle lemon juice on the meat and eat by dipping in soya sauce or mix the daikon into the soya sauce which is even better.

You can baked some mushrooms in foil to accompany with if you like, and pour yourself some Hot/ Cold Sake or Plum wine will be ideal!!!



9 thoughts on “japanese salt-grilled fish (shioyaki)

  1. Hi Denise, great to hear someone like you who enjoys the fish collar ; )
    And Lisa and Natasha, in case you try it for first time, you may find it smells quite fishy but don’t worry, once washed and cooked, they won’t anymore : )

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