RECIPE: Saba Soboro (Flaked Mackerel) with Scrambled Egg, Nori (toasted seaweed) and Green Onion

My Saba Soboro Donburi (leftovers next day assembled at home) – Itadakimasu!

I had the most wonderful time cooking with my “Twin” Green Apron and her husband Shin; they welcomed us to their house for a family style dinner and I spent the entire afternoon learning from Shin how to prepare Mackerel three ways.

This simple and delicious Japanese dish is served with rice, scrambled egg, chopped green onion and toasted nori (Japanese dried packaged seaweed); the combination of flavors and texture is perfect! Shin-san adapted this recipe from Gochisosama ga Kikitakute” by Harumi Kurihara (English version is Harumi’s Japanese home Cooking); she is one of the best known cookery writers in Japan.  Enjoy (OO)!

Ingredients: (serves 4)

Saba Fillet (2-3 slices), 1 medium carrot (finely diced), 1 medium onion (finely diced), 1 Tablespoon grapeseed oil (2 if necessary), 4 Tablespoon Japanese soy sauce, 2 Tablespoon Sake, 2 Tablespoon Mirin, 1/2 Tablespoon Miso (brown), 1 Tablespoon brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger.

For serving: Japanese Rice, 3 eggs, green onions (green part only – thinly sliced) and Japanese dried toasted seaweed (shredded)


– Check and remove any visible bones from the mackerel fillet.

– Using a spoon, scoop the fish meat from the skin from head to tail, pulling away from the skin.  Set fish meat aside.

– Peel the carrot and onion, chop into very fine pieces, and grate (or chop) the ginger finely.

– Prepare sauce: Mix soy sauce, sake, mirin, sugar in measuring cup, set aside.

– Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium heat, add ginger and mackerel, let them brown lightly.  When fish meat starts to flake, add onion and carrot, sautéed for 2 to 3 minutes.

Saba, onion, carrot and sauce cooked together until very liquid is left.

– Stir in sauce and mix well with ingredients.  At Medium low simmer, slowly cook until there is very little liquid left in the pan. Stir occasionally to keep ingredients from burning.

– While fish is cooking; prepare scramble eggs (seasoning not required), green onion (thinly sliced) and toasted seaweed (cut in small pieces).

Scrambled eggs, Toasted Seaweed and Saba Soboro – ready to assemble!

To serve: On fluffy Japanese rice, add scrambled egg on top, sprinkle with green onion and toasted seaweed then you’re ready to go! It’s best served as family style (see picture on left) and everyone can assemble their own “donburi” to taste.


Mackerel are now readily available at Asian supermarkets or local fish store. In Vancouver, you can find mackerel at H-Mart (various locations), or Seafood City ( Granville Island.  All Japanese “staples” can be purchased at Fujiya (912 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC). 

Mackerel usually comes in whole, you can ask fishmonger to fillet them. For the more adventurous home cooks, you can fillet them at home; there are many instructional videos available through Youtube.

– The ratio of mackerel meat to vegetables can be adjusted according to your own preference.

– We had a carrot salad (recipe will be posted) as side dish; when I had my leftovers, I prepared a seaweed and wild greens salad on the side.

my “original” donburi at Shin and Twin’s.

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