It is an overstatement to even consider myself a cook. After several years of preparing meals for my family, my culinary knowledge and experience doesn't go beyond the entry-level.
So, naturally, I was elated when I could pull something together which was easy, quick, yet deliciously yummy and best of all with minimal cleaning up and no culinary skills required! (I know, my cooking skills will never improve if I stick to simple dishes forever, lol)
With my limited knowledge, I have always thought that cutting slits on fish helps it to cook faster, gets it cooked through and also for it to be well marinated. But for grilling saba fish, I learned that the slits also help prevent the skin from 'bursting' or 'shrinking' as it cooks in the oven. So this is a step that one shouldn't over look.
The mackerels were only lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, nothing else. I set the oven to the grill or is it broil(?) function...that is, top heat with fan mode. The fishes are cooked on high heat so that the skin is crispy but the inside is cooked through but moist and juicy. Never over cook saba as it tends to turn dry rather quickly.
Oven Grilled Mackerel
salt (I use sea salt)
grounded black pepper
some olive oil
lemon or lime wedges
- Clean and rinse the fish and pat dry with kitchen paper towels. Cut several slits on both sides (do not cut through). Rub some salt inside the fish and on the skin. Set aside for about 30 minutes. The salt will draw out some of the fishy taste.
- Set oven to Grill or Broil function and preheat to 200 degC.
- Rinse the fishes again. Pat dry thoroughly with paper towels.
- Lightly rub skin with a little olive oil (just to prevent sticking). Lightly sprinkle some salt and freshly grounded black pepper on both sides.
- Set the fish on a baking tray lined with foil (lightly oil the foil), or on the rack of a roasting pan (line the pan with foil and brush the rack with oil, or line the rack with parchment paper as described above).
- Cook fish (place it at a higher rack position, nearer to the top heat) in preheated oven for 10~12 mins, turning once in between. Do not overcook. Transfer fish to a serving plate and serve immediately with lemon or lime wedges.