As the weather become warmer, J and I started to plan getting rid of the couple pounds we still carry since our holiday and winter fest. However, I would never sacrifice the taste and enjoyable meal experience to fight with my weight. Here is one completely healthy Japanese pan fried Mackerel meal set with Japanese style salad, sesame sauce okra and eggplants. miso soup, and rice. Not only the whole meal contains minimum amount of oil, but it is very tasty and filling. Not to mention good looking when you place them all on table.
Tonight’s Dinner Table Menu
- Appetizer – Japanese Style Salad
- Main Dish – Pan fried light salted mackerel fillet
- Side Dish I – Deep roasted sesame sauce okras and eggplants
- Side Dish II – Japanese miso soup and rice
Servings: 2 Total Time: 60 mins Difficulty: easy
Appetizer – Japanese Style Salad
The key of this dish is the Japanese style dressing. You can have all kinds of vegetable as your preference for the salad. I used ice lettuce, shredded carrots, boiled broccoli, and boiled okra.
Ingredients for the Japanese style salad dressing: Soy sauce, white vinegar, sugar, Hoisin sauce, sesame oil, white sesame seeds, water or bonito and seaweed broth.
Main Dish – Pan fried light salted mackerel fillet
Surprisingly, I found this frozen sealed light salted mackerel fillets from Costco near my place. It is really convenient with sealed packaging for each fillet, very good quality, and most of all, it is not too salty.
Just defrost the fish before pan frying, directly dried it without any oil in a nonstick pan with skin side down for about 3 mins. Then fried the other side for another 2-3 mins. Squeeze some fresh lemon juice before serving. It tastes so good with rice!!!
Side Dish I – Deep roasted sesame sauce okras and eggplants
How to keep eggplants purple and okras green when boiling them? It’s very simple. Only place in the vegetables into boiling water and rinse in cold water right after drained and never overcook the vegetables. This way, can keep the boiled vegetables green. (Also applies to boil broccoli.) To keep the purple color of eggplants, you want to place in the eggplants skin side down in the boiling water and rinse in cold water the same as other boiled veggies.
I introduced the Japanese deep-roasted sesame dressing before in the spinach rolls recipe post. It is also good with boiled okra and eggplants. So simple and healthy!!
Side Dish II – Japanese miso soup
This is a very simple and basic Japanese dish that you can almost see in everyday meal in Japan. However, a lot of people try to make this soup but just can’t recreate the same taste of miso soup I had in Japan, even include my mom.
After seeing one of my Japanese friend making her miso soup, I suddenly realized how I made the miso soup which learned from my mom was wrong. Of course, the miso paste plays a key role as well!! I got my Shin-Shu Shiro Miso paste from the Asian supermarket.
With the same miso paste, I tried two different method to make miso soup. It turned out amazingly different taste with one apparently better than the other.
How moms (both my mom and mother-in-law) made miso soup? Maybe lots of people cook the same way as well: dissolve the miso paste in a small bowl with some water and pour the mixture into the soup in the end just like how you use cornstarch. (Wrong!!) Don’t ask me why, try it yourself and tell me what you think. 😉
- 1 shredded onion
- Seaweed/ Kelp 1 slice (about 2″ * 5″)
- Bonito flakes 2 tbsp
- Sake 2 tbsp
- Water 3 cups
- 4 diced soy puffs or silky tofu 1/2 box
- Miso paste 2 tbsp
- Minced scallion 2 tbsp
Stir fry shredded onions in a deep pot until soft, then pour water, sake, and dried kelps to boil for about 10 mins.
Add the soy puffs and bonito flakes to boil the broth for another 3 mins.
Directly dissolve the miso paste in the boiling broth in a strainer. This way, you can filter out the large pieces of bean gregs which might ruin the texture of the soup without losing any essence of the taste.
Sprinkle some minced scallions on top of the miso soup and ready to serve!!
Setting up the table for the Japanese Mackerel Set. Isn’t it look amazing?