The protein

A study at a university hospital in Spain revealed that mackerel-eaters’ arteries were more relaxed and open, facilitated better blood flow, plus their blood showed higher levels of anti-clotting factors associated with reduced risk of heart attacks and strokes. Get your mackerel in the freezer section of your local Asian shop.

The line-up

● 4 large Japanese mackerel, gutted and rinsed
● ¼ cup (60ml) soy sauce
● ¼ cup (60ml) Japanese mirin (rice wine)
● 1 tsp white sugar
● 1 tsp grated fresh ginger

The game plan

Mix the ingredients together and marinate the fish for at least an hour. Braai over hot coals until the skin starts to blister. Baste and then turn.

THE SIDE DISH: JAPANESE POTATO SALAD

The mayonnaise is what makes this dish. Roake uses a Japanese variety called “Kewpie”. This is a slightly sweet mayonnaise, but without any acidic tangs. The pickled cucumbers add a nice crunch. It serves at least 12 people, so is perfect for
a braai where you’re pleasing a crowd.

● 2kg potatoes, peeled and rinsed
● 1 large cucumber
● 6 carrots, peeled and sliced into 0.5cm discs
● 4 eggs, hard-boiled (for six minutes)
● 1 red onion, very finely chopped
● 300g Kewpie Japanese mayonnaise
● Salt and pepper to taste

Cook the potatoes, drain and set aside to cool. At the same time, boil the carrots until tender (this takes about 15 minutes). Roake slices the cucumber lengthwise and scrapes the pips out with a teaspoon. “The pips have all the water and you don’t want that,” he says. Slice the cucumber into fine slices. Place them in a bowl and sprinkle with two teaspoons of salt. Set aside for 30 minutes. The salt will draw out any moisture and leave the cucumbers slightly limp and pickled. After 30 minutes, pour off any excess water and pat dry with some kitchen towels. Assemble the salad by chopping the potatoes into 2cm dice, add the cooked carrots, finely-chopped boiled eggs, pickled cucumbers and squeeze over the Japanese mayo. Season and gently fold together. Serve at room temperature.