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Shime Saba Bo Sushi (Marinated Mackerel Bo Sushi)

by Yuki Gomi from Sushi at Home

Create a homemade sushi platter with this marinated mackerel recipe. The cured mackerel is simply seasoned with toasted white sesame seeds and fresh chives.


A beautifully shiny mackerel roll. Removing the top layer of skin with tweezers leaves some of the fish’s pattern, which looks pretty.

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260g cooked sushi rice
2 tsp of toasted white sesame seeds
3 strands of chives, finely chopped
2 fillets of shime saba (marinated mackerel - see ingredients and method below)
For the shime saba:
1x400g-600g whole mackerel (filleted by your fishmonger) or 2 fillets (100g each) of mackerel
2 big handfuls (60g) of sea salt
400-500ml rice vinegar or brown rice vinegar (or sufficient to cover the fillets)

Essential kit

You will need a sushi mat (if using a bamboo mat, cover it tightly with cling film).

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To marinate the mackerel, place the fillets on a flat plate, sprinkle the salt over each side of them and rub it in gently. Leave the fillets for an hour and then rinse them under running cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. For the final curing, place the fillets in a deeper dish, pour the rice vinegar over them until they are covered and leave for 45 minutes. Remove the mackerel from the vinegar and pat dry with a paper towel.

Pin-bone the fillets using tweezers to pull out the sturdy bones. When you run your finger over the surface of the fish, you can feel if there are any bones. They are usually found in the centre of the fillet. Then, starting at the corner of the fillet, peel off the skin using tweezers.

Put the sushi rice into a bowl, add the sesame seeds and chopped chives and mix well.

Cut a sheet of cling film to roughly the same size as the sushi mat. Place the cling film on the mat and put a mackerel fillet in the middle. Spread half the sushi rice (130g) along the length of the mackerel.

Hold the bottom of the cling film with both hands and fold it over the top of the sushi rice. Fold the other side over the top to cover it tightly. Then use the sushi mat to form the roll into a long rectangle. Make sure the mackerel and rice are rolled tightly and stick together. Leave to rest for 5-10 minutes, and repeat with the remaining ingredients.

To cut your bo sushi, place it on a clean, dry chopping board. Trim the ends if you want and cut each bo sushi into 5-6 pieces through the cling film, using a sharp, wet knife. When you cut the sushi, slice it smoothly and very quickly. I recommend wiping the knife clean after every cut. Remove the cling film from each piece.

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