How to Cook Saba Fish


Saba, or mackerel, as it's usually called, is a firm, oily fish that's packed with omega-3, the type of fatty acids that can lower blood pressure, cholesterol and maybe even incidences of depression. It's best cooked at a high heat in a pan or or on a grill to bring out its slightly salty taste and create a thin char. Although saba is a meaty fish, it's slender and typically only weighs 10 to 12 ounces. Grilling time should take no more than 10 minutes.

Things You'll Need

  • Frying pan
  • Cutting board
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Knife
  • Spatula
  • Preheat the grill or the frying pan to medium-high.

  • Place the saba on a clean cutting board, drizzle it with olive oil on both sides and season it with salt and pepper to taste.

  • Score the fish three or four times. Space the cuts about two inches apart and make each about 1/2 inch deep. For fillets, score it on the flesh side; for whole saba, score over the entire outer skin.

  • Place the fish on the grill or in the pan skin side down. If you're cooking a whole saba, it doesn't matter which side is down.

  • Cook the saba for about five minutes and then flip it over for another three to five minutes.

  • Remove the fish and place it on a clean cutting board. Cut into the thickest part to see if it's done. The flesh should be moist, firm and slightly opaque.

  • Allow the saba to rest for about five minutes before serving.

Tips & Warnings

  • Season the fish with lemon zest to balance the salt with a little tartness.
  • Don't eat saba if you're pregnant; it contains high levels of mercury that can affect brain development and the nervous system.

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  • Photo Credit Christof Koepsel/Photodisc/Getty Images
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