Pacific saury and tomato

Japanese people value seasons, hence cherry blossoms being a big thing for us. In each season, there is a particular food we think about. This is especially so for autumn – we say autumn is the perfect season to have a good appetite because there is a lot of food in season at this time.

If you walk into a Japanese supermarket, you can see seasonal fruit, such as pears and persimmons, vegetables, such as turnips, and fish, such as Pacific saury! As autumn is the fishing season for Pacific saury, called “sanma” in Japanese, they are reasonably priced and taste delicious.

Pacific saury taste quite similar to sardines and, a lot of the time, Japanese people simply grill them. But the fish is quite bony, so here is another way to cook it. 

Pacific saury (sanma) and tomato.


Sanma is the fish of the fall season.

(Serves 2 to 3 persons)

• 3 Pacific saury (sanma)

• 2 middle size tomatoes, chopped

• Thumb-sized piece of ginger, sliced

• 2 tablespoons soy sauce

• 1 tablespoon sweet sake (Mirin)

*If you don’t have sweet sake, you can also use sugar


When cooking, place ingredients on top of the fish.

1. Chop the Pacific saury into four pieces.

2. Place the pieces of fish in a pot and then pour soy sauce, Mirin and ginger on top.

3. Put the lid on and bring it to a boil on a medium heat. Once it’s boiled, reduce the heat let simmer for 10-15 minutes. You don’t need to stir but if you need to mix or adjust anything in the pot, hold the handle/handles and gently shake the pot.

4. Cooking is completed but if you cook for 30 minutes or more, the bones will become soft and you can actually eat these too, which is how I prefer it. This way you don’t need to remove the bones as you eat – which is great as they contain calcium and are good for your health, as my mother says.

If you want to learn more about cooking Japanese food, don’t forget to check out my regular cooking classes! Website: Facebook: Tel: 098-955-5311 Address: 862-1 Namihira, Yomitan village, Okinawa 904-0322 Class times: Let’s Roll! – Sushi and Home Cooking: both classes take 2.5 hours Class starts: 10:00 and 13:30. Closed on Sundays, Bookings and inquiries: 10:00 to 20:00

03:03 15 Jun , 2024