Aji-tataki (pounded mackerel)

I caught my first AJI today.
Aji is either a yellow tail, a jack mackerel or a horse mackerel depending on what book you check. I know it as aji.
Fish names differ from country to country, language to language and growth size too.  Confusing!
Anyway I caught my mackerel with a massive hook and bait of squid. Seriously. I only caught one fish today but I am grateful to the sea for providing my entree. The fish jumped about in the net and by the time I had the rod down and about to remove the hook, the fish had already done it by itself. One less job to do and then it just about hopped into the bed of salt ice in the chilly bin. I don’t think all fish will be so delighted to be caught.

I tried out a new gadget to fillet the fish but need more practice.

It looks like a large potato peeler with an unguarded blade.

I followed the instructions and pushed down too hard and went through the bone. Then I went too lightly on the other side and so the fillet was less. I will know for next time. And with practice I will get better. It is a bit gimmicky though. I think I prefer using a knife. I used the leftover fish to make fish stock. I’m thinking risotto next.

But before the filleting I removed the scales from the fish with this scary looking device as shown above.

I removed the skin of the mackerel and then removed the bones with tweezers. Yeah, it is a lot of work but if you have eaten fresh mackerel it is worth the effort. There are so many old mackerel being sold that gives it a bad name. It is one of my favourite fish to eat and instead of catching a red snapper today I was delighted with the mackerel! I know I must be one of the few. Or am I?

Aji Tataki Recipe

Mackerel, filleted and deboned
a little grated ginger or substitute with lime juice
a little soya sauce
finely chopped long onion or if not available then chives (optional)

Now the fun part with the bones removed you use the back blunt edge of the blade of the knife and pound the mackerel to make the texture. (It removes all worry of missed bones, after the pounding they don’t stand a chance)
Add a little grated fresh ginger, not too much and pound and mix it together.
Transfer the mackerel to the serving dishes and pour a touch of soya sauce and it is ready to eat.
Serve immediately.
Best eaten with chopsticks.
Dined alfresco today, lovely weather.

Prego. Buon appepito!

  • Have you made this?
  • What kitchen tools do you use?
  • What hook and bait do you use to catch mackerel?