Pan Fried Spanish Mackerel Marinated in a Sriracha Soy Lime Sauce

Spanish Mackerel Marinated with a Sriracha Lime Sauce

I fell in love with the flavor of mackerel when traveling in Japan. This Sriracha lime marinade adds a light freshness and helps balance the otherwise strong flavors of mackerel.

When I was on my Japan trip this past summer I stayed for a few days with Jiho, a Zen Buddhist monk in Oita.  Oita is is a coastal town and I soon became spoiled with fresh seafood from the nearby market and fresh limes from Jiho’s garden.

Jiho’s favorite dish was taking a simple mixture of soy sauce, lime, green onion and garlic and then use it as a dipping sauce for mackerel sashimi.  The citrus of the lime really helped cut the strong fishiness flavor of the mackerel – it was absolutely divine and easy to make!

Since coming home I’ve missed this dish – sashimi grade mackerel is tough to come by here in D.C. so I’ve taken to using the sauce as a marinade for grilled mackerel.  I simply marinade the fish in the lime sauce for a few minutes, pan fry, and enjoy.  The principals still hold true- simple to make and the citrus from the lime really adds a fresh flavor to the fish!

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Pan Fried Spanish Mackerel Marinated in a Sriracha Soy Lime Sauce
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The light and spicy citrus flavor of the Sriracha lime marinade is a perfect compliment to the heaviness of mackerel.
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Japanese
Serves: 2
  • 2 6oz mackerel filets, skins still on
  • ¼ Cup of Soy Sauce
  • 1 lime, squeezed
  • 1 green onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, smashed
  • 1 tbs of olive oil
  • 1 tsp of Sriracha Sauce
  1. Combine the ingredients for the marinade into a bowl and add the mackerel filets, refrigerate for at least 5 minutes
  2. Meanwhile heat a frying pan over medium heat with 1 tbs of olive oil
  3. Place the marinaded mackerel skin side down and cook for 4 minutes
  4. Brush some additional marinade on the fish, flip and cook skin side up for an additional 1 minute
  5. Serve with your favorite side and enjoy!
While this dish calls for mackerel, you can substitute herring which is another strong-flavor oily fish.

I do not recommend marinating for too long. The flavor of the marinade can quickly overpower the fish.

I typically make this dish with white rice or sautéed spinach but any vegetable side could potentially compliment.


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2 Responses to Pan Fried Spanish Mackerel Marinated in a Sriracha Soy Lime Sauce

  1. Poppy says:

    Thanks for the mackerel recipe, Ben, it was a hit with the whole family. I got a 10/10 from the fussy Master Chef hubby! Out of curiosity, are Buddhist monks not vegetarian? I was surprised that Jiho’s fav dish was mackerel!

    Cheers, Poppy.

    • Ben says:

      Thank you so much for such a wonderful comment! I’m delighted your family enjoyed it! In regards to monks, while some are it’s really dependent on what school (think like seminary) they were brought up in.

      Stay tuned! I’m in the middle of a major, cross-country life move, but will resume recipe writing later this summer when I will have access to an outdoor grill this summer (for the first time).

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