Sub IN: Mackerel

Sub OUT: Red meat

Where to buy: Asian grocery store

Cost: $3.99 for 3 frozen salted mackerel fillets

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I’m going to let you in on a secret… eating a fillet of salted mackerel will be the most delicious upgrade of your life. AND it’s as easy to cook as making toast.

If you’re a fan of sushi, you know how great fatty fish such as salmon sashimi or fatty tuna sashimi tastes. Mackerel in my opinion, is juicer and more flavorful than salmon and tuna, and it is more affordable.



  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids/Fish Oil
  • Helps build lean muscle
  • A healthier and cheaper alternative to pork, chicken, and beef
  • No need to add seasoning
  • Easy to cook
  • Easy to clean up

How to cook:

I just use the mini tray in my toaster oven for this job.

  1. Wrap the tray with aluminum foil.
  2. Place the fish on the tray, skin side down, and broil for 5-10 minutes (or until lightly golden).
  3. For a crispier skin, flip the fillet with the skin side up, for 1 minute (the skin will start expanding fairly quickly).

Broiled Mackeral

I like to combine the mackerel with a veggie dish (usually a curry or stir-fry), and half a cup of brown rice.

For me, the day after I cook a big meal is the best. On those days, cooking dinner literally takes the touch of a few buttons. I reheat my leftovers, push one button to start the rice cooker, and a turn of the knob to broil my fish… then BAM! A simple, deliciously healthy dinner is ready to eat.

I probably eat mackerel about 3-4 times a week. At one point in my life I ate it everyday, and surprisingly each time felt like the first. When I lived in Korea with my grandma, she would pack me the same “Bento box” lunch for work everyday: purple rice, tofu, mackerel, bean sprouts, and Korean pickles. Maybe it was all the love she put in every meal, but wow it was always DAMN GOOD even when I ate the food cold hours later.


My favorite lager: Beer Lao.


Crispy broiled mackerel pairs really well with lagers. It can be found on the menu at most Izakayas (Japanese tapas bars). You can order this simple dish for about $8, or enjoy one at home everyday for a little over a buck.

Photo Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4