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Stewed Pacific Saury | 金のさんま

Every year this season, you will see my post on ‘Pacific Saury’ ( “Autumn Knife Fish”) which we call ‘Sanma’. When this fish drifts into the vicinity of Japan, it is a benchmark of the end of summer, the season turning to autumn. The Pacific Saury is a fish it’s appearance similar to a barracuda but more metallic blade-like, the flesh more fluffy and oily which makes it suitable for grilling.

Generally, September is at the peak of the season and the Sanma Matsuri of Meguro, a massively popular sanma grilling festival is held in September. 7000 sanmas are grilled and people gather from the outskirts of Tokyo, making long cues for a complimentary grilled sanma. However unexpected this year, we have experienced a phenomenal shortage of catch, due to rise in sea temperature and the catch remains around 10% compared to last year as to date.




This recipe ‘Stewed Pacific Saury’ originates from year 2011 and is one of my favorite cooking of sanmas, when they are abundant and reasonable in price. Although there seemed no luck in price mark downs, I am this ‘Gold Sanma’ anyway.

I found this recipe from a fish processing blog site in Kesennuma called SAIKICHI few years ago, the year The Great East Japan Earthquake struck Japan in March 11, 2011.  Kesennuma was heavily struck and the coastal area swiped away by the tsunami, devastating many fishing towns including Kesennuma, well known for the SANMA FISHERY. I apparently purchase their product ‘KIN NO SANMA (Gold Sanma)’ to help regain and support their business after the earthquake, to know that their website introduced how to make their speciality product called ‘Gold Sanma’ .

Stewed Pacific Saury | 金のさんま

Course: MainCuisine: JapaneseDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time





  • Wash the pacific saucy and remove the head and intestines. Cut the fish into about 3 pieces.
  • Wash with approx. 3% of salt water.
  • Boil some hot water and slide the pacific saury into the boiling water, retain the high heat but remove the fish once the skin starts to discolor.
  • Place all the pre-boiled pacific saucy into a pressure cooker, covered with water and 5% (the volume of water) vinegar. Bring the pressure up on high heat, once the steam starts whistling, pressure cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and set aside for a further 30 minutes.
    圧力鍋にさんまがたっぷりかぶるくらいの水と酢(水の量の5パーセント)で 10分炊きます。沸騰して蒸気がしゅんしゅんと出始まってから10分です。火を止めてそのまま30分置きます。
  • Open the pressure cooker and remove the pacific saury to a different stewing pan.
    鍋を開けて 鍋に中に静かに水を注ぎながら 鍋からさんまを取り出します 。
  • Add all the other ingredients and stew the pacific saury over medium ~ low heat for 30 minutes.
    【味料を入れます】小さなあわが ふつふつと出るくらいの中火の弱火で約30分炊いてください。

Recipe Video

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