It is not the first time I have said this publicly, and probably not the last, but I am super culinary challenged. Thankfully, my husband is a particularly good cook. Part of my struggle with cooking is that for the longest time I had no interest in it, the other part is for most of my adult life I enjoyed dining out. However, since having children, I have tried to learn and increase my repertoire of recipes. I find cooking healthily for children is easy, but I have yet to cross that over to more generic type cooking.

Meanwhile, my best friend is an amazing cook with an expansive collection of recipes suitable for all ages and tastes. So much so, she is frequently asked to do demos, participate in food events and teach classes, she’s even won an award. Allย resulting from the success of her wonderful blog Fiona’s Japanese cooking. Her most recent recipe grabbed my eye immediately as it is for mackerel, one of my favourite fish and my most favourite sushi. As always, Fiona presents the recipe in a very easy to follow manner, that even the likes of me can follow. To boot, the ingredients are easy to come by and the cooking time is short. So, with New Year pledges tolling in my ear, I decided this was one I had to try.

It got its test run today. It passed with flying colours. My son was at kindergarten, but my daughters and husband were here for lunch and they loved it. I have never seen my middle child enjoy fish so much. She couldn’t get enough of it. She is usually a slow eater, but she devoured her mackerel in minutes. Below a photo with the ingredients I used; sea salt and vegetable oil. I was delighted with myself that something so easy could taste so well and please so easily. It has definitely encouraged me to try out more of Fiona’s recipes on a regular basis.


For this particular recipe and lots of Japanese dishes explained easily, with tips on where to buy ingredients for people in Ireland, please see Fiona’s blog. This recipe and its original post for proper instructions and even better photos for this dish can be viewed by following this link;

Fiona’s Japanese Cooking.

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  1. I’m going to start cooking too in my next blog and stop pretending I can’t do anything because I haven’t got an oven!
    I’ll try that mackerel recipe soon. Will it stink out my 1K apartment? And how much veg. Oil did you put in the flying pan?

    1. Author

      OMG that is my excuse too!!!!!!!! Haha. We keep saying we’re going to buy an oven, but they are so small here I keep holding out to see a good one. Which will probably never happen. I put a decent helping of veg oil in, probably the equivalent of 3 tablespoons. I didn’t intend putting that much in to be honest, but being the awful cook I am I poured directly from the bottle… overflow and a oops! I love your typo; “flying pan” – have had a few of them over the years trying to flip chahan!! ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Culinary challenged? I love it! Finally I have a name for my problem ๐Ÿ˜‰ Not only am I culinarily (is that a real word?) challenged, but I find it so boring to even chop up veggies, and even more so to stand over a stove, poking and prodding at food, waiting for it to be done :p Baking on the other hand, I love ๐Ÿ˜‰ But I shall definitely take a look at your friend’s blog – there may yet be hope for me, perhaps all is not lost ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Author

      Its great that you can bake though. I can’t even do that. I am the “salads and dessert” girl at byo affairs! And salads only graced my abilities in recent years! ๐Ÿ˜› I used to say “culinarily” too, until extensive research (read desperation to find proof it is a real word) proved it is not a useable term… yet! If selfie can make it into the dictionary; there’s hope for us yet. I’m not sure if culinary challenged is “proper” english, but, hey, its a nice ring to it eh!? Let me know how your cooking challenges go ๐Ÿ˜€

      1. Heheh thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ Haha well said! Selfie, OMG, LOL -If those can make it in and literally now means both literally and its opposite, metaphorically, then we can start a word revolution ๐Ÿ˜‰
        Baking is great, but really hard work here with no worktop space and the tiniest of ovens. Perhaps it makes the end result that little bit more satisfying? ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. Author

          That’s funny about “literally”. Had to google it, because I hadn’t heard. Its one of the ones I was quite careful to use in it’s literal sense, now I can use it freely ๐Ÿ™‚
          The lack of worktop space really gets to me. We’ve a fairly big (by Japanese standards) house, but the kitchen is tiny. Not sure where we are going to put this oven we’re talking of getting, but we do really need it. No more excuses, no more procrastinating, its time to find the cook within!

      1. Author

        Haha! Thank you! What do you like to cook normally? I think Japanese food is relatively easy to cook, if you have the inclination. I hope you like Fiona’s blog, I know I do ๐Ÿ˜€

        1. What do I like to cook? Hm. I’m trying to think of a word that ties my style together and I think the main theme is “not fussy or fiddly”. So sure, Japanese, Spanish, Moroccan, Indian, Chinese… whatever – as long as it doesn’t require too much measuring, chopping, or rolling things into little balls. ๐Ÿ™‚

          1. Author

            Haha, the rolling I can do, everything else – I wish! I feel 2014 is a good year to get the cooking thing going. Here’s hoping!

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