May is Asian Heritage Month in Canada. This year’s theme, “Continuing a legacy of greatness,” reminds us that Canadians of Asian descent continue to make indelible and crucial contributions to Canada’s cultural fabric. Undeniably, one of the most significant contributions made by Asian-Canadians has been to Canada’s cuisine; from ginger beef to California rolls, Canada has become a breeding ground for excellent variations on traditional Asian dishes. To celebrate Asian Heritage Month, try making this deceptively simple BBQ saba mackerel from Winston’s chef Douglas Lee. As with the dishes on his menu at Winston, this Asian-inspired recipe is best made with local produce and enjoyed with Canadian wine.
1 mackerel fillet, deboned
Canola oil for frying
Tamari soy or shoyu
High-quality sesame oil
Mix one-part salt and one-part sugar and season the flesh side of the mackerel generously. Allow to cure for 24 hours in the fridge.
After 24 hours, rinse off seasoning and pat dry, leaving the fillet in the fridge to air dry for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat canola oil on medium-high heat.
Fry rice papers for 20 seconds, until they expand and look opaque.
Season with togarashi or a seasoning of your choice.
Preheat oven to 450°F. Bake mackerel fillet for 5-7 minutes. The skin should be crispy and the fish oils should be beginning to render.
Mix three parts Tamari soy or Shoyu with one part sesame oil to use as a dipping sauce
Slice mackerel into bite sized pieces and eat together with the rice paper