Ultimate Guide to Japanese Canned Mackerel|最強のサバ缶ガイド

First and foremost, what comes to mind when you hear the words
"Quintessential Japanese Fish"?
Tuna, Salmon... Mackerel?
(It's Mackerel for us)

Mackerel is not a rare sight when you travel or live in Japan. You see mackerel in bento, sushi, ramen soup, and a classic, your breakfast here. And most importantly, it’s tinned fish form: SABAKAN aka Canned Mackerels. Just like tuna and salmon, mackerel is well-loved here and is considered one of the most accessible and homecook's staple fish in Japan.

As a Indonesian, we don’t have a long history with canned fish, looking into the Japanese canned food aisle might be one of the most overwhelming experiences (not to mention the Japanese kanji) thats why...



We are sharing you
[The Ultimate Japanese Canned Mackerel Guide!]


Norwegian Mackerel vs Japanese Mackerelノルウェーサバ vs 日本のサバ

  • Japanese Mackerel: Pacific Chub Mackerel and Blue Mackerels
    These two type of mackerels are all caught in the Japan. Pacific Chub Mackerel if caught during peak season, Fall, it is when it has the highest fat content. While Blue Mackerel has lesser fat but higher in protein and water content.
  • Norwegian Mackerels: Atlantic Mackerels
    It is loved for it's flavors and known to have the highest fat content. Norwegian mackerels are caught during it's peak season fall and winter to get it's highest fat content! It is rich in nutrients such as vitamin D and omega-3.
  • 日本のサバ: 「マサバ」と 「ゴマサバ
  • ノルウェー産サバ: 「タイセイヨウサバ」
    雄大な極寒の大自然で育ったノルウェーサバは脂の乗りと旨味が魅力です。 ノルウェーでは脂肪含有量が最高になる秋~冬のみにサバを漁獲するため、「ビタミンD」「オメガ-3」等の栄養素が豊富に含まれています。

Btw, No.38 Premium Canned Mackerel uses the finest Norwegian Mackerel in all our products!

      in Water vs in Oil・水煮 vs オイル漬け

      These are two basic and bare-boned version when buying any tinned fish, including canned mackerel.

      In Water: Light, natural & cleaner flavor! Best when you want to season the fish yourself with your own spices.
      In Oil: A more hearty decadent flavor! It preserves a moist texture of the fish and is more flavorful too.

      水煮: サバの自然な味を楽しめます。自分で味付けしたい場合におすすめです。
      オイル漬け: カロリーは高めですが、魚の味がより濃厚になります。 魚の缶詰にはこれらの方法だけでなく、さまざまな味付けが施されることもあります!

        Tinned fish isn't just limited to be in water or in oil. In fact, in Japan, many of them are simmered in sauces that fits the Japanese palette.

        Which leads to the next point…

        Canned Mackerel Flavor ・サバ缶の味

        If you're a Foreigner, the basic tinned fish flavor is to either in olive oil, in water, or in tomato sauce . While in Japan, these are three holy trinity:


        • Suiniru (水煮): Simmered in water (usually lightly brined)
        • Misoniru (味噌煮): Simmered in miso sauce
        • Shoyuniru (醤油煮): Simmered in soy sauce

        Shout out to the following:

        • Ajitsuke (味付け): Marinated in a simple Japanese marinade
        • Kabayaki (蒲焼): Grilled and basted in sweet soy sauce

        Grocery or convenience stores are quite limited with their flavor offerings; that's when smaller local canneries like No.38 are at their best!


          No.38 has 7 unique flavors ・ No.38 のサバ缶は個性的な7種の味

          1. 三種の厳選胡椒仕立て (Triple Mix Pepper)
          2. 辛味引き立つガーリックオイル仕立て (Chili and Garlic)
          3. スパイス香る芳醇カレー仕立て (Rich Spicy Curry)
          4. 風味爽やか彩りマリネ仕立て (Mild Sour Mariné)
          5. 味噌と辛味感じるガーリックオイル仕立て (Miso Garlic Oil)
          6. 炙り鯖のショウガ醤油仕立て (Soy and Ginger)
          7. やみつき甘辛ヤンニョム仕立て (Sweet Spicy Yangnyeom)

            Lastly, What's the Occasion?・ どんな時に使いたいですか?

            Honestly, this is one of the biggest points! The good part about tinned fish is that it has a long shelf life, so stocking them up is a no brainer. Great for Emergency Bags!

            However, the beauty of No.38 Premium Canned Mackerel is it’s artistry in creating it. It’s worth spending a bit more just to enjoy and make it an exciting part of your day!

            Outdoor Camping ・Easy Quick Meal・Hosting Dinner Parties・Souvenir and Gift

            No.38 will take any occasion to the next level. [We bring something more special to your table]





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            こんにちは、ファネッサです。 遠いインドネシアの地から、No.38チームの一員として日本にやって来ました。シンガポールでの8年間の生活を経て、インドネシア語と同じくらいに英語も私の心の言葉となりました。日本での外国人生活を通して、私独自の視点を皆さんに伝え、私たちの世界と皆さんとの架け橋となれたらと思っています。この小さな記事を、日本語と英語でお楽しみください!

            About the writer
            Hello hello! I’m a member of the No.38 team all the way from Indonesia! You can call me Vanessa! I grew up speaking English and lived in Singapore for eight years, I like to think I'm as fluent in English as in Indonesian. Currently residing in Japan, I'm excited to share my unique perspective, bridging diverse worlds through my bilingual articles. I hope you enjoy my little article both in Japanese and English!
            Who knows this could be the start of your language journey too!