Grilled Fish Recipe with Mouth-watering Kabayaki Sauce

Searching for a new, flavorful way to jazz up your grilled fish recipe? Look no further! I have the recipe for you. Introducing my Grilled Fish with Kabayaki Sauce Recipe – a delectable blend of sweet and salty flavors that will leave your tastebuds wanting more.

Kabayaki sauce, also known as nitsume or unagi tare, is a sweet soy sauce-based glaze typically used on grilled eel. But why limit its use to just one type of seafood? My recipe uses this delicious sauce to create a mouthwatering dish with any type of grilled fish.

This dish is perfect for seafood enthusiasts looking for something new to add to their repertoire. It’s also great for those who want to impress guests at their next BBQ or dinner party with a unique and savory seafood creation.

So let’s get started on this culinary adventure – grab your favorite type of fish and get ready to dive into my Grilled Fish with Kabayaki Sauce Recipe.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Grilled Fish With Kabayaki Sauce
Grilled Fish With Kabayaki Sauce

If you’re a fan of seafood dishes, then this grilled fish with kabayaki sauce recipe is sure to tickle your taste buds. The delicate combination of sweet and salty flavors in the kabayaki sauce will enhance the natural flavor of any grilled fish, whether it’s saba fish, catfish kabayaki or even pacific saury.

What sets this recipe apart is the authentic kabayaki sauce. This sweet soy sauce, also called nitsume or unagi tare, goes great with grilled eel or unagi don, but in this recipe, it will elevate your regular grilled fish to a whole new level.

But the best part? This recipe is incredibly easy to make. With only a handful of ingredients – soy sauce, mirin, sugar and nori (if you want to add an extra layer of flavor) – you can create a rich and flavorful sauce that will impress your guests without spending hours in the kitchen.

So why settle for plain grilled fish when you can have it with kabayaki sauce? Trust me, once you try this recipe, you’ll keep coming back for more.

Ingredient List

 Get ready to add some flavor to your grill game with this delicious grilled fish with kabayaki sauce recipe!
Get ready to add some flavor to your grill game with this delicious grilled fish with kabayaki sauce recipe!

Get the Best-quality Ingredients for the Kabayaki Sauce

To make a delicious grilled fish kabayaki, you will need to gather some high-quality ingredients. I recommend buying fresh and sustainably-caught fish such as saba fish or pacific saury from your local fishmonger. For the kabayaki sauce, be sure to use brands of soy sauce and mirin that are made in Japan.

Here is the complete ingredient list for the kabayaki sauce recipe:

  • 2 cups of soy sauce
  • 2 cups of mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • Nori sheets
  • Scallions or green onions, thinly sliced

Note that the kabayaki sauce is also called “nitsume” or “unagi tare” in Japanese. This sweet and salty sauce goes great with grilled fish, eel, or any seafood dishes.

The Recipe How-To

Grilled Fish With Kabayaki Sauce Recipe

Grilling fish is a great way to cook seafood dishes. Adding the kabayaki sauce to grilled fish takes it to the next level. Kabayaki sauce is sweet, savory, and has a depth of flavor that will have you craving for more. Here’s how you can make grilled fish kabayaki with rice.


  • 4 boneless fish fillets (saba fish or pacific saury)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • Green onions or scallions, thinly sliced for garnish
  • Nori (seaweed sheet), shredded for garnish

Kabayaki Sauce Recipe

  1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine soy sauce, mirin, and sugar.
  2. Stir occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, stirring frequently until sauce thickens for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. The sauce should be able to coat the back of a spoon easily.

Grilled Fish Kabayaki Recipe

  1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Season fish fillets with salt and pepper on both sides.
  3. Grill each fillet for about three minutes per side or until cooked through.
  4. Using a basting brush, generously coat one side of each fillet with kabayaki sauce while grilling.
  5. Turn the fillets over and baste again on the other side until they are fully coated with the sauce.
  6. Grill for another minute or two but do not overcook.
  7. Remove from grill and set aside.

Serving and Pairing

Place grilled kabayaki fish on top of short-grain rice on a serving plate. Drizzle extra kabayaki sauce over the top of the grilled fish fillets and rice if desired. Garnish with thinly sliced green onion/scallion and shredded nori.

Tips for Perfect Results

For perfect kabayaki sauce: when boiling the mixture, do not turn your back on it because it can boil over easily due to high sugar content.

When grilling the fish, keep an eye on it because kabayaki sauce can easily burn because of its high sugar content.

What types of fish are best for kabayaki?

The traditional Japanese dish uses eel but other types of oily fish like saba (mackerel), Pacific saury, catfish or salmon work just as well.


This fish kabayaki recipe is an excellent addition for seafood lovers who want flavorsome dishes without too much hassle in preparation time. Once you taste this sweet-salty flavor from this recipe, you’ll be hooked!

Substitutions and Variations

 Ready, set, grill! This dish is perfect for a backyard BBQ party or a simple summer dinner.
Ready, set, grill! This dish is perfect for a backyard BBQ party or a simple summer dinner.

The beauty of cooking lies in the ability to make a recipe your own by tweaking ingredients and trying out different variations. This grilled fish with kabayaki sauce recipe is no exception. Here are some substitutions and variations you could try:

– Fish: Feel free to experiment with different types of fish beyond just eel. Saba fish, catfish, pacific saury, and sanma kabayaki are just a few examples that would work well.

– Sauce: If you prefer a more savory sauce, you can try adding garlic or ginger to the kabayaki sauce recipe. On the other hand, if you prefer a sweeter sauce, add some honey or brown sugar to the mixture.

– Rice: While short-grain rice pairs best with this dish, you could also use other types of rice such as jasmine or basmati.

– Nori: If you don’t have any nori available, you can use toasted sesame seeds as a garnish instead.

– Green onions/scallions: Chopped chives or cilantro can be great alternatives for those who don’t like green onions or scallions.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with these variations and substitutions to create a dish that’s uniquely yours. Whether it’s pad thai, teriyaki sauce or unadon – this kabayaki grilled fish recipe allows you to showcase your culinary skills and take your seafood dishes to the next level.

Serving and Pairing

 Fish lovers, you WILL want to try this one! The kabayaki sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and savory, making for a delicious match with the perfectly grilled fish.
Fish lovers, you WILL want to try this one! The kabayaki sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and savory, making for a delicious match with the perfectly grilled fish.

Grilled fish with kabayaki sauce is a dish that pairs well with a variety of sides and beverages. The sweet and salty flavor profile of the sauce goes great with short-grain rice and steamed vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli, or green beans. Another side that complements this dish well is miso soup, which adds a light and savory flavor to the meal.

For those who prefer a more filling meal or are looking to incorporate more carbs, pad thai or noodles also pair well with grilled fish kabayaki. The thin noodles in pad thai provide a flavorful, chewy texture that complements the tender pieces of fish. Similarly, soba or udon noodles can be prepared lightly in broth and served alongside this dish for a heartier meal.

And when it comes to beverages, matcha tea or sake are classic choices that complement the Japanese-inspired flavors of this dish. However, those who prefer non-alcoholic drinks may opt for a glass of iced green tea or even a sparkling water infused with lemon or lime for a refreshing accompaniment.

Overall, the serving and pairing of grilled fish kabayaki allows for creativity and flexibility in terms of taste preferences and dietary needs. By combining various sides and beverages, you can create a delicious and satisfying meal that is sure to impress your guests or satisfy your own cravings.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Grilling fish can seem intimidating at first, but with this recipe, you'll be grilling like a pro in no time!
Grilling fish can seem intimidating at first, but with this recipe, you’ll be grilling like a pro in no time!

Kabayaki sauce can easily be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to grill your fish. The sauce can keep for up to a week when stored properly in an airtight container.

If you’re planning on marinating your fish in the kabayaki sauce, you can prepare it ahead of time as well. Simply pour the sauce over the fish in a dish or a resealable plastic bag and marinade overnight.

When it comes to reheating grilled fish with kabayaki sauce, there are a few different methods. If you have leftover cooked fish, simply brush some extra sauce onto it and reheat it on a grill or in the oven. Be sure not to overcook it, as this can dry out the fish.

If you’re reheating the fish and sauce together, place them in an oven-safe dish and cover it with foil. Heat in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) until heated through. Alternatively, if you have a microwave, you can reheat individual portions of fish and sauce for about 30 seconds on high power.

Keep in mind that while reheating grilled fish works well for certain types of seafood dishes like unagi don (grilled eel on top of rice), other dishes like saba kabayaki (grilled mackerel) may not reheat as well and may be best enjoyed fresh off the grill.

Overall, kabayaki sauce is a versatile and flavorful addition to any seafood dish. With proper preparation and storage techniques, you can enjoy this sweet and salty sauce for days to come.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Brush the kabayaki sauce onto the fish while it's grilling for a mouth
Brush the kabayaki sauce onto the fish while it’s grilling for a mouth

To ensure the best results when making Grilled Fish with Kabayaki Sauce, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Firstly, use fresh fish that has been properly cleaned and scaled. This will prevent any unpleasant taste or smell from ruining your recipe. You can use a variety of fish for this dish, such as saba fish, catfish kabayaki, pacific saury, or even eel.

When grilling the fish, make sure to oil the grill grates well to prevent sticking. It is also important to preheat the grill on high heat for at least 10 minutes before cooking the fish. This will help to create a crispy texture on the outside while keeping the inside moist and tender.

As for the kabayaki sauce, it is crucial to stir it frequently while cooking to prevent it from burning or caramelizing too quickly. Use a medium heat and watch it closely until it thickens into a glaze-like consistency. Be sure not to overcook it, as this can cause it to become too thick and stick to the pan.

Another important tip is to let the cooked fish rest for a few minutes before serving. This will allow for the juices to redistribute throughout the meat and enhance its flavor.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations of this dish, such as using teriyaki sauce or adding green onions or nori for garnish. With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to create a delicious and unique Grilled Fish with Kabayaki Sauce every time.


As with any recipe, it’s natural to have a few questions or concerns before trying out something new. That’s why we’ve compiled some frequently asked questions and their corresponding answers to help you prepare and enjoy this Grilled Fish with Kabayaki Sauce recipe with ease and confidence. Whether you’re curious about the ingredients, the grilling process or how to make substitutions, we’ve got you covered. So, read on to discover some helpful tips and insights!

What is kabayaki sauce made of?

If you’re familiar with teriyaki sauce, you’ll find kabayaki sauce quite similar. Both sauces use a combination of soy sauce and mirin – a sweet Japanese rice wine – along with sugar to add a touch of sweetness. However, while garlic, ginger, sesame, and even citrus may be included in teriyaki recipes, kabayaki sauce keeps it simple with just the three main ingredients.

Is Kabayaki sauce same as unagi sauce?

Also known as nitsume, kabayaki sauce, or unagi no tare, eel sauce is a popular condiment that adds a delicious blend of sweetness and saltiness to various dishes. It’s particularly favored as a glaze for grilled fish or chicken and is often used to add flavor to sushi.

What kind of fish is kabayaki?

Kabayaki is a dish that typically involves preparing fish, particularly unagi eel, by removing the bones and viscera, cutting the fish into square fillets, and grilling it while coated in a sweet marinade that contains soy sauce.

What to serve with kabayaki?

After being grilled, the unagi no kabayaki is commonly enjoyed with rice, either in a bowl or in a special lacquerware called jubako. This dish is also referred to as unagi don or unaju.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Grilled Fish with Kabayaki Sauce Recipe is truly a must-try for seafood enthusiasts and those looking to venture into new flavor profiles. Not only is this dish easy to make, but it is also versatile and customizable to fit anyone’s taste preference. The perfect blend of sweet and salty in the Kabayaki sauce accompanies the grilled fish beautifully, enhancing the natural flavors of the seafood. This recipe can be made with various fish options like saba or catfish kabayaki, making it a great option for those who want to switch up their usual seafood dishes.

With the right ingredients, and following the recipe guide above, one can have a delicious home-cooked meal in no time. Additionally, using some substitution suggestions or variations mentioned earlier could suit your dietary preferences better while still keeping to the authentic experience of this dish.

Not only is it delicious, but this recipe is also budget-friendly and practical for meal preparation such as in unagi don (grilled eel and rice bowl) or sanma kabayaki (grilled pacific saury). Moreover, there are useful tips in the article for perfect results and updated information about storing and reheating.

Incorporate these ideas and make the dish yours. Whether you’re cooking solo or having a family feast or entertaining guests, Grilled Fish with Kabayaki Sauce will please any seafood fan. This unique recipe with its sophisticated flavors would be impressive in any restaurant menu. Try it out today and create a gourmet meal right from your home!

Grilled Fish With Kabayaki Sauce

Grilled Fish With Kabayaki Sauce Recipe

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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Japanese
Servings 2
Calories 2544.4 kcal


For the Kabayaki Sauce

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (125ml)
  • 1/2 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine, 125 ml)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

For the Fish

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 firm fish fillets, about 6 oz each, patted dry
  • 6 cups steamed short-grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons dried nori or 2 tablespoons toasted nori, for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons green onions (thinly sliced) or 2 tablespoons scallions (thinly sliced)


  • In a small saucepot over medium high heat, stir together the Kabayaki Sauce ingredients. When the sauce begins to bubble, immediately turn the heat to low and let it simmer for 4 to 5 minutes, until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Be careful, as the sauce can easily thicken too much, and you'll end up with caramel! If it becomes too thick, whisk in a tablespoon of water at a time.
  • Set a large frying pan over high heat. When the pan is very hot, add the oil and swirl to coat pan. Lay the fish fillets in the pan, not touching each other. Fry for 2 minutes until the bottoms are browned. Brush the Kabayaki Sauce glaze on the fillets. Flip the fish over and brush the top of the other side. Fry for another minute or two, until the fish flakes easily and is cooled through.
  • Serve the fish over rice and pour additional Kabayaki Sauce over the fish. Top with seaweed shreds and green onions.
  • serve this with lightly sauteed sugar snap peas and rice.



Serving: 942gCalories: 2544.4kcalCarbohydrates: 501.9gProtein: 88.1gFat: 11.6gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 99mgSodium: 4532.6mgFiber: 17.5gSugar: 21.1g
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