Food Forum
Vol. 27 No. 1  April 2013




Grated daikon with soy sauce is a traditional Japanese condiment that actually functions as a sauce. In this recipe, apples provide the sweetness, vinegar the acidity, and ginger and rose pepper add a wonderful piquant accent to this typical Japanese “sauce,” making it ideal for Western dishes.


Serves 4

246 kcal  Protein 23.5 g  Fat 13.3 g (per person)

  • 2 fillets of mackerel, total about 440 g / 1 lb.
  • 2 t Japanese arajio salt*; if unavailable, use 1 1/2 t table salt
  • 1/2 apple, cored and skinned, about 100 g / 3.5 oz.
  • 1 T rice vinegar; other vinegars can be used
  • 3 T grated daikon, lightly squeezed to remove moisture
  • 2 T grated ginger
  • 1 T + 1 t Kikkoman Soy Sauce, or to taste
  • Rose peppercorns, 10 per serving, roughly chopped
  • Daikon sprouts for garnish


  1. On the skin-side of the mackerel, lightly cut several slits at 7-8 mm/ 1/3 in. intervals. Sprinkle most of the salt onto the fillet side, and a little onto the skin. Cut each fillet in half. Set aside in the refrigerator for 30 minutes with fillet side facing down.
  2. Grate the apple and mix with vinegar to avoid discoloration, then add the daikon, ginger and soy sauce. Taste and adjust the amount of the soy sauce to tone down the sweetness if desired.
  3. Wipe the mackerel dry with a paper towel. First grill skin-side down; then turn over and grill the skin, for a total of about 10 minutes or until the fish is lightly roasted.
  4. Place grilled mackerel on a plate and pour the grated-mixture sauce over the fish. Sprinkle the rose pepper over the mackerel and garnish with daikon sprouts. Serve with additional soy sauce and vinegar on the side.

* Arajio facilitates removal of liquid from ingredients. The amount of salt in the recipe does not equal the total intake amount.

Recipe by Michiko Yamamoto

1 C (U.S. cup) = approx. 240 ml; 1 T = 15 ml; 1 t = 5 ml

This recipe was inspired by “The Japanese Table” feature article “Food Byways: Japan’s Mackerel Highway” included in this issue.