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Fast Day #20: Broiled Mackerel and Rau Muong - 373 calories

Broiled Mackerel and Rau Muong

When I was at the store picking up the salmon sashimi, there was some good looking mackerel pieces that were calling my name. This meal is as easy as it gets. The fish is salted overnight in the Japanese style of Saba (mackerel) Shio (salt) Yaki (broiled) and the Rau Muong (water spinach) is boiled to counter balance the oiliness of the fish.

The water spinach can be easily replaced with boiled spinach or if you have enough calories, a simple saute of kale, garlic and a bit of oil. The mackerel is pretty high in calories so I recommend the simpler veggie preparations.

Saba Shioyaki is quickly becoming one of my favorite dishes due to the ease of preparation and the wallop of flavor. I got these fish pieces (they are not fillets as the spine is still attached) at a Japanese specialty store but Costco sells a package of frozen, wild caught, individually packaged mackerel pieces from Norway that I am eager to try.

Mackerel can be a controversial fish as it has a strong flavor. I like it but I know many people don't. This dish is great for Fast Days because the oiliness lingers and makes me feel fuller longer.

Recipe: Broiled Mackerel (Saba Shioyaki) and Rau Muong - 373 calories

Special Requirements:

  • 24 hours of marinating time for the fish


  • 155 g of mackerel (318 calories)
  • 2 T kosher salt
  • 275 g Rau Muong/ water spinach (55 calories)
  • 3 cups water


  • Wash and trim up mackerel fillets of extraneous fins if necessary.
  • Liberally sprinkle salt on all sides of the fish. You may not need all 2 tablespoons of salt, just make sure you get salt on all parts of the fish. Refrigerate overnight. This fish can be held in the fridge for 2 days after being salted.
  • Pick over the water spinach and break into 1 inch sections. For more information on how to clean water spinach see this post.
  • Bring water to a boil, place water spinach into boiling water until stems are tender but still crunchy. Drain and set aside.
  • While waiting for water to boil, place rack 6 inches from heat source and turn on broiler to high.
  • Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and, if you have one, place fish on a rack skin side down. Broil for 10 minutes. Flip and broil skin side for 8 minutes or until the skin is charred and slightly blistered.
  • Plate up water spinach and saba shioyaki and enjoy!


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