BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury – Sanma

Like most people here in the States, I prefer to have my fish as boneless fillets, but sometimes you just have to get down and dirty with all the bones!

And that’s exactly what happens when I want to eat my favorite BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury AKA Sanma in Japanese.  You don’t see Pacific Saury being sold at American supermarkets much (if ever), but this fish is considered somewhat of a staple meat among many Asian cultures, especially in Japan.

BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury - Sanma

Sanma translates as autumn fish knife referencing to the shape of the fish.  It is one of the most prominent seasonal foods representing autumn when it is usually caught having about twenty percent fat and making this fish very oily and rich.

It’s a relatively small fish, so it’s usually just cooked whole on the grill and the consumer has to work their way around the bones.

But don’t worry, we will include the techniques we use to pick the bones in the directions below!  You could technically fillet it as well, but this fish actually grills better whole.

So the next time you are feeling a little adventurous and want to try a new type of fish to grill, BBQ up a Pacific Saury and enjoy one of Japan’s staple fishes!

BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury - Sanma LowCarbingAsian Pic 1

This is a perfect fish to enjoy during the summer because it’s very light and refreshing.

It’s served with a wedge of lemon, grated Japanese radish and a drizzle of soy sauce that really compliments the light umami profile of the fish.

The meat texture is firm yet moist and makes for a perfect side dish to serve alongside your meal.

This one comes in ~2g net carbs per serving making it a great choice as a side!

BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury - Sanma LowCarbingAsian Pic 2

The only special ingredients you would need are Soy Sauce, Japanese radish (daikon) and the Pacific Saury (comes frozen).

Unfortunately for this dish though, unless you have access to a local Asian Supermarket, it might be difficult to get your hands on Pacific Saury.  There is this online shop here that does offer it, but not sure how reliable they are.

Now, let’s get started!

Prepping Time 5M

Cooking Time 7M

Total Time 12M

Net Carb/Serv ~2g

Servings 1

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Pacific Saury
  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Inch Japanese Radish – Daikon (optional)
  • 1 Wedge Lemon (optional)

Directions

1) Gather all the ingredients.

BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury Sanma Recipe (1)

2) Make a light horizontal cut along the center of fish (there is a thin darker silver line).  Lightly sprinkle sea salt and repeat on the other side.

BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury Sanma Recipe (40)

BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury Sanma Recipe (41)

3) Use a vegetable peeler to peel off skin from optional Japanese radish (daikon) and then grate with a grater.  Once grated, transfer to a serving plate.

BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury Sanma Recipe 4

4) Prepare optional lemon wedge and place on serving plate.

BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury Sanma Recipe (4)

5) Preheat BBQ grill to 350F and oil as needed (if your grill is well seasoned, no need to oil).  Once grill hits temp, reduce heat to medium-low and place Pacific Saury on the grill.  Close lid and cook for 3.5 minutes.  Once 3.5 minutes has passed, flip and cook for another 3.5 minutes or until the meat easily flakes off.

BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury Sanma Recipe 2

BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury Sanma Recipe (6)

6) Transfer fish to a serving plate and drizzle Soy Sauce on top of grated Japanese radish.  To enjoy, squeeze optional lemon onto fish, and eat fish meat with a little bit of the grated Japanese radish.  Note – some people prefer only using Soy Sauce foregoing the Japanese radish all together.

BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury Sanma Recipe (7)

7) Here is the method we use to clear out most of the bones.  First, take a knife and lightly cut through the same cut you made in step 2) (the knife should run along the backbone of the fish).  Carefully flip the top meat away from the fish leaving the backbone intact and peeling the meat off the skin.  Do the same with the bottom half.  On the bottom piece, cut away the darker meat of the fish making sure your knife is under the bones/ribs.  Next, remove the backbone with your fingers or utensils, and pull away the top and bottom half again from fish and skin.  The top half should already be boneless and repeat cutting off darker meat for the bottom half again.  You should now have 4 fillets that are boneless and you can discard the rest of the fish away.  Note – you can also eat the belly meat by scraping off the darker subsistence and ribs bones from the meat, but it does require a little more work to pick out the bones.

BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury Sanma Recipe (24)

BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury Sanma Recipe (24)

Hope you enjoy your low-carb/keto BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury – Sanma!

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BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury - Sanma

BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury - Sanma

The BEST Asian Low-Carb/Keto recipe for BBQ Grilled Pacific Saury - Sanma. Enjoy this delicious tradtional dish at only ~2g Net Carb / Serving. Step by step directions with pictures makes this recipe quick and easy.
5 from 5 votes
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese
Keyword: fish BBQ, Japanese grilled fish, Japanese grilled seafood, Japanese seafood, keto grilled fish, low carb grilled fish
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
Servings: 1
Print Recipe
Calories: 13kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Pacific Saury
  • 1/8 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Inch Daikon Japanese Radish - optional
  • 1 Wedge Lemon optional

Instructions

  • Gather all the ingredients.
  • Make a light horizontal cut along the center of fish (there is a thin darker silver line). Lightly sprinkle sea salt and repeat on the other side.
  • Use a vegetable peeler to peel off skin from optional Japanese radish (daikon) and then grate with a grater. Once grated, transfer to a serving plate.
  • Prepare optional lemon wedge and place on serving plate.
  • Preheat BBQ grill to 350F and oil as needed (if your grill is well seasoned, no need to oil). Once grill hits temp, reduce heat to medium-low and place Pacific Saury on the grill. Close lid and cook for 3.5 minutes. Once 3.5 minutes has passed, flip and cook for another 3.5 minutes or until the meat easily flakes off.
  • Transfer fish to a serving plate and drizzle Soy Sauce on top of grated Japanese radish. To enjoy, squeeze optional lemon onto fish, and eat fish meat with a little bit of the grated Japanese radish with Soy Sauce infused. Note - some people prefer only using Soy Sauce as well and foregoing the Japanese radish all together.
  • Here is the method we use to clear out most of the bones. First, take a knife and lightly cut through the same cut you made in step 2) (the knife should run along the backbone of the fish). Carefully flip the top meat away from the fish leaving the backbone and skin intact. Do the same with the bottom half. On the bottom piece, cut away the darker meat of the fish making sure your knife is under the bones/ribs. Next, remove the backbone with your fingers or utensils, and pull away the top and bottom half again from fish and skin. The top half should already be boneless and repeat cutting off darker meat for the bottom half again. You should now have 4 fillets that are boneless and you can discard the rest of the fish away. Note - you can also eat the belly meat by scraping off the darker subsistence and ribs bones from the meat, but it does require a little more work to pick out the bones.

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 13kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 962mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 10mg | Iron: 1mg

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