Sun Dried Horse Mackerel  | 鯵の干物

Sun Dried Horse Mackerel | 鯵の干物

This is a typical Japanese dish, a sun dried horse mackerel; sold quite readily at grocery stores but hey! home made beat any.

It’s not difficult to make, quite simple, just as long as you have the three things.

  1. you are able to get very fresh horse mackerel
  2. a cold winter day around between 5 ~ 10℃ with sunlight
  3. a real fish lover

Sun dried horse mackerel, we call it ‘namaboshi’ or ‘aji no himono’ is a typical dish which accompanies a Japanese breakfast with rice.










Namaboshi (Fresh Dried) Horse Mackerel


  • 3~4 Very Fresh Horse Mackerel
  • 20% of Salt Water
  1. Cut the belly of the horse mackerel removing the gill, intestine.
  2. Cut the throat of the horse mackerel, carving out along the belly and spine. Be careful not cut along the back.
  3. Divide the head in half, again be careful not to separate the head totally.
  4. Scrape with a knife once it has been sliced open and wash the blood (belly) well with water or thin salt water. You can use a worn-out toothbrush.
  5. Soak the open horse mackerel in 20% of the salt water for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Wait until the salt water stops dripping and dry the fish in sunlight.
  7. A guide to ‘Namaboshi (Fresh Dried)’ is try pressing with your fingers get fingerprints. On a cold day (10 ℃ or less in temperature day) morning ~ 3PM is about a good amount of sunlight for ‘Namaboshi (Fresh Dried)’.

Namaboshi (Fresh Dried) Horse Mackerel

  • 鯵・・・3〜4匹
  • 塩水・・20%の塩水
  1. アジの腹を切る。エラ、ハラワタ、ゼイゴを取る。
  2. アジの喉元、カマのつけ根から刃を入れ背骨に沿って腹を切り開く。背中まで突き破ってしまわないよう、力加減に注意。
  3. 頭を割る。切り離してしまわないよう力加減に注意して「割る」つもりで行う。
  4. 腹に血合いが残っていたら包丁でこそげ取り、水または薄い塩水でよく洗う。使い古した歯ブラシを利用すると簡単にできる。
  5. 開いたアジ魚は20%の塩汁に20~30分漬ける。この方法だとたくさんの魚に一気に、しかも均一に塩が回る。
  6. 干し加減は魚の表面に軽く膜が張り、指で押してみて指紋がつくくらいになるまでが生干しの目安。寒い日(気温日中10℃以下)は朝〜15時位が目安。
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