Deep-Fried Mackerel (Aji Furai) | "From Up On Poppy Hill"🐟 - Studio Ghibli Food inspired
Updated: Aug 21, 2021
From Up On Poppy Hill (コクリコ坂から) 2011: A story about a 16-year-old girl, Umi Matsuzaki, who lives in the boarding house called "Coquelicot Manor"as her father has passed away and her mother is in America studying so she helps clean and cook for the boarders and look after her sister and brother. Each morning, she raises a set of signal flags with the message of "I pray for safe voyages". A 17-year-old boy, Shun, always sees this flag from the sea as he rides a tugboat to school and responds to them, but Umi doesn't know that. When they finally met, they decide to clean up the school's clubhouse, the 'Latin Quarter'. However, Tokumaru, the chairman of the local high school and a businessman, intends to demolish the building for redevelopment and Umi and Shun, along with Shirō Mizunuma, must persuade him to reconsider.
"Destroy the old and you destroy our memory of the past. Don't you care about the people who lived and died before us? There is no future for the people who warship the future and forget the past" - From Up on a Poppy Hill (2011)
Aji Furai (Mackered deep-fried in breadcrumbs): A traditional Japanese home-cooking. Butterflied horse mackerel coated in flour, egg and breadcrumbs then deep-fried into perfect golden colour. I never cook fish this way in my whole life until I watch "From Up on Poppy Hill" 😂 At first I thought...wait then what about the bones? Are we supposed to eat the fish bones?? Then I did my research on "butterflied fish cutting method. The method of butterflying fish is very unique indeed as it opens the fish from the dorsal side instead of the belly side (all this while I cut fish from the belly side). This method is called 'sebiraki' in Japanese! You can check out any tutorial from YouTube on how to butterflying fish. I also include step-by-step instruction on butterflying fish in this recipe but well...I'm just a beginner and this is my first time doing it so you might find it difficult to understand my instructions 😭 Apologize in advance!🙇
You may find Umi frying aji furi (deep-fried mackerel fish) in one of the scene from the anime.
DEEP-FRIED MACKEREL INGREDIENTS:
6 pcs fish mackerel
1/4 TSP salt
1/4 TSP pepper
2 TBS flour
1 egg (beaten)
1 cups panko breadcrumbs
Cooking oil (for deep fry)
Butterflying fish (sebiraki method). First of all, remove the pectoral fin on both sides of the fish using knife or kitchen scissor.
2. Then remove the scales on both sides of the fish by sliding the top of the knife from the tail end towards the head. Next, cut off the head.
3. Using a finger or a narrow knife, gently remove the guts from the opening without breaking the thin flesh around the belly. Then, cut off the pelvic fin at the bottom. Rinse the fish and clean the cavity in the belly.
4. Make a shallow incision on the dorsal side all the way to the tail using kitchen scissor or knife. The incision needs to be on your side of the back bones.
5. Detach the rib cage by cutting the rib bones along the back bones.
6. Remove the flesh along the back bones until you reach the belly but keep the belly skin intact. Chop the backbone at the tail end, keeping the tail attached to the flesh. Remove the the sharp hard thorn in the front anal fin and finally remove the pin bones from the fillet. Run your finger along where the backbone was and feel the bones to locate them. Remove all of them using a pair of tweezers or pliers if you don't have both equipment like me then... never mind, just use your finger. At the end of the day your goal is just to make sure all the tiny bones removed, anyway.
7. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the butterflied mackerel fish fillets.
8. Coat the filler with flour, then pat shake off excess flour. Place it in the egg and coat all over. Allow excess egg to drip then, transfer to the breadcrumbs. Repeat this steps for the rest of the fillets.
9. Heat cooking oil in a frying pan and gently place the crumbed fish skin side up. Remember not to crowd the oil wit too many fish pieces. Cook for about 1 - 2 minutes or until golden brown.
11. Transfer the fried fish to a tray lined with kitchen paper to drain excess oil. All done!
You can serve this yummy deep-fried mackerel with shredded lettuce and tomatoes. Serve immediately with the sauce of your choice ❤️ I was doubtful to try this at first but when I ate it, wow! Taste so much different as compared to the other fish fillet! I fried store-brought fish fillet with similar method before but the texture is not as crunchy as this! I will need to buy more mackerel fish from the market and make more of this! Anyway, this fish recipe can be frozen for up to 1 month. It is best to freeze them before deep-frying. Thaw in the fridge overnight then deep-fry. Enjoy!