Mackerel Tatsuta-yaki in a Spirit of Japan Bento

Mackerel Tatsuta-yaki in a Spirit of Japan Bento

This is a mackerel tatsuta-yaki (deep fried mackerel) made with the fish caught in local seas. It's pickled with soy sauce malt, which increases the deliciousness. The bento is packed with Japanese-style side dishes to liven it up.

Ingredients: 1-2 people

Aji (Horse mackerel; cut sanmaioroshi-style)
1 fish
Soy sauce malt
2 teaspoons
1 teaspoon
○Juice from grated ginger
1/2 piece
1 and 1/2 tablespoon
Vegetable oil
1 tablespoon


1. Buy mackarel fillets. If not, separate the spine to make two fillets (sanmaioroshi). Refer to Steps 1 through 21 of recipe ID: 2909217 for photos.
2. Stick the knife at an angle, and cut in half. Use a paper towel to soak up excess water that may seep out of the fish.
3. In a bowl, add the fish and the ○ flavoring ingredients.
4. Gently mix by hand so that the fish is well coated.
5. Coat a shallow dish with katakuriko and then use it to coat the fish from Step 4.
6. Heat up a pan with vegetable oil, and fry the fish skin-side down first. Cook over a low to medium heat.
7. Flip over once they are golden brown, repeat on the other side, and it's done .
8. Stuff the tatsuta-yaki in a bento . It tastes great even cold . The soy sauce malt really brings out the deliciousness of the fish! (umami)
9. I put cucumber and yukari (red shiso leaf) tsukudani on top of the rice (salty).
10. Cooked vinegar lotus roots and imitation crab (sour).
11. Goya side-dish with bonito flake dressing (bitter).
12. Sweet potato and peanut salad (sweet).
13. Umami, salty, sour, bitter, sweet; this is a Japanese-spirit bento made with the balance of 5 flavors.

Story Behind this Recipe

I made this while keeping the 5 flavors in mind for a bento contest. I made this with peanuts and seafood such as aji, using ingredients available in my hometown of Chiba!