How to cook Spanish Mackerel

Spanish Mackerel Recipe

The Spanish Mackerel, is one of the more popular fish in Singapore. Most of the time, they are used for fish soups and otah bun by the locals here. The Spanish Mackerel are belonging to the family of Scombridae, the same species with tuna. The perks of Spanish Mackerel is that it doesn’t have scales and below their silvery skin is a muscular flesh that is meaty and firm.

There are three different type of Spanish Mackerels, the Batang, the Spotted & The Korean Seerfish.

The first type Batang is easier to identify. Batang usually is the largest of the three type of Spanish Mackerels that can be found in the local markets and Batang is the only one with vertical bars on the body. Batang whose cross section is more narrow and sleek are usually tastier than the rounder ones.

The Spotted Spanish Mackerel is a smaller fish compared to the batang. It is usually about 30-50cm in size. This is a very good fish to use for fish balls as well as otah. Of course, if the fish is super fresh, you should just slice it and use it for fish soup! In Hokkien, they called this fish as “Beh Kah”.

Of the three, the Korean Seerfish is the least commonly available and the most preferred. Anoter name for it is “Dua Pan”. The flesh is a little sweeter and more delicate than the batang. Fish soup stalls that say they serve dua pan instead of batang are the ones you should pay more attention to. They are typically larger than the beh kah but smaller than batang. Because of their spots, they can sometimes be mistaken for a large beh kah. They are usually broader and there is a more distinct hump above the eyes which make them look a bit “fiercer” than the beh kah.

Spanish Mackerels are not recommended to be steam as it is popular with its fishy taste. It is suitable to be grilled, fried or to made soup. There are many different style of cooking when it comes to Spanish Mackerel. Below is one of the recipe by Chef Tetsuya Wakuda, one of the famous Australia’s top restaurateurs.

Grilled Spanish Mackerel with Miso and Soy - Chef Recipe by Tetsuya Wakuda.


Tetsuya Wakuda, one of Australia's top restaurateurs, has one of the most refined palates in the country. While the dishes served in his restaurant are incredibly complex, some of the underlying building blocks are easy and achievable for us to do at home. His all-purpose base with mirin, sake and soy is useful as a marinade, as a salad dressing and, in this instance, by adding miso, as a brush-on flavour as the fish is cooking.

  • Spanish mackerel fillets, skin scored
  • White sesame oil
  • Sancho pepper (prickly ash pear)
  • Yuzukosho paste, to serve
  • 900mL mirin
  • 300mL cooking sake
  • 300mL soy sauce
  • 200–250mL saikyo (sweet white)
  • Miso, depending on saltiness



Bring the mirin and sake to the boil in a medium saucepan just to evaporate the alcohol. Cool.

Add the soy sauce.

Add the miso to the base, and adjust for preference with more mirin or honey if you like it a little sweeter.

Over the radiant heat from a hot charcoal grill, grill the mackerel on skewers, flesh-side down to start, turn it over when it starts to look cooked on the flesh side. Towards the end of cooking, brush the top side with a little of the base. Continue to cook briefly before turning and painting the other side. Continue turning and painting until the fish is cooked and caramelised. You want the fish to be just cooked or slightly translucent in the centre.

Brush the fish with white sesame oil before removing from the grill. Sprinkle the skin with sancho pepper.

Assemble the salad on serving plates with the fish. Serve with yuzukosho paste.

Note: The base mixture (without the miso) can be used for yakiniku or as a base with ginger, garlic, spring onions, Korean chilli paste and sesame oil for a dressing. It will make more than you need but can be stored in the refrigerator.

Yuzukosho paste is made from green chilli, yuzu and salt. It can be purchased ready-made from Japanese grocery stores.

You can find his full article here

Pan Seas Singapore

Whether is fresh or frozen, Panseas will able to help you procure the above fish with affordable rate. Delivered to your doorstep the day after your order. Contact us for more information on the fish you would like to buy. You can find more of our fresh & frozen fish products here too.