Mackerel Recipes


Broiled Spanish Mackerel

Serves 6
6 (3 ounce) fillets Spanish mackerel fillets
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
salt and ground black pepper to taste
12 slices lemon

Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source. Lightly grease a baking dish.
Rub both sides of each mackerel fillet with olive oil and place with the skin side down into the prepared baking dish. Season each fillet with the paprika, salt, and pepper. Top each fillet with two lemon slices.
Bake the fillets under the broiler until the fish just begins to flake, 5 to 7 minutes. Serve immediately.

Grilled Stuffed Mackerel
Serves 1

1 medium mackerel, cleaned and deboned if possible
1/4 tsp ginger paste
1/4 tsp garlic paste
salt, to taste
1 tbsp plus 1 tsp vegetable oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1/2 small onion, peeled and sliced
5 fresh curry leaves
2 tsp Goan red spice paste
1 medium tomato, chopped
lemon wedges, to serve

Wash and dry the inside of the fish. Make deep slashes across both sides of the fish. Stir together the ginger and garlic pastes, salt, 1 teaspoon of the oil and the lemon juice and rub all over and into the slits of the fish. Place in a nonmetallic dish, cover and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Heat the remaining oil in a small nonstick saucepan and fry the onion until golden brown. Add the curry leaves and masala paste and cook over medium-low heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. If you are concerned that the masala sauce may burn, add a sprinkling of water to the pan. Add the tomato and salt and cook briskly for 6-8 minutes, stirring often. The tomatoes will completely break down and you will be left with a spicy, thick masala sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Rub a little of this stuffing mixture on the flesh and inside the slits and stuff the rest into the cavity. Put the fish back in the fridge for another 20 minutes, if you have time.
Preheat the grill and cover the grill pan with kitchen foil. Place the fish on top and cook for 6-7 minutes on each side, turning carefully, until the fish is golden brown and cooked through. Serve with lemon wedges and plain rice.


Crispy-skinned Mackerel with asian-inspired dressing
Serves 4

1 mug of basmati rice
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 x 170g mackerel, skin on, butterflied and pin-boned
1 lemon
1 spring onion, trimmed and finely sliced
a couple of sprigs of fresh coriander, leaves picked and chopped
a couple of sprigs of fresh mint, leaves picked
optional: 1 fresh red chilli, finely sliced

for the sauce:
1 clove of garlic, peeled
1cm piece fresh ginger
1 spring onion, trimmed
1 fresh red chilli
2 limes
a couple of sprigs of coriander, leaves picked
4 teaspoons sesame oil
.4 tablespoons soy sauce
.2 teaspoons runny honey
extra virgin olive oil

Put a griddle pan on a high heat to get really hot. Add the rice to a pan with 2 mugs of boiling water and a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil on a high heat then turn the heat down to low, cover and leave for 7 to 8 minutes.

Once the griddle is screaming hot, add the mackerel skin-side down (you may need to do this in batches). Use a fish slice to press the fish onto the pan. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper and finely grate over the zest of a lemon. Reduce to a medium-high heat and cook for about 8 minutes in total.

Meanwhile, make your sauce. Use a fine grater to carefully grate the garlic, ginger, spring onion and chili into a small bowl. Grate in the lime zest and mix, you should have a lovely slurry. Tear in the coriander leaves, add the sesame oil, soy sauce, honey and squeeze in the juice of the limes. Finish with a good lug of extra virgin olive oil then have a taste – you want to have a balance between sweet, sour, heat and fragrance.

Check the mackerel, they should be lovely and dark on the skin side so carefully flip them over to finish cooking for a final few seconds. Check your rice; all of the water should have been absorbed. Divide the rice between your plates, top each portion with a piece of mackerel then drizzle over some of that gorgeous sauce. Scatter over the spring onion, mint, coriander and chilli, if using.


Quick-fried mackerel fillets with garlic and

1 mackerel per person
Fresh mackerel, 1 per person
Olive oil
A few garlic cloves, thickly sliced
A few bay leaves, roughly torn
½ lemon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the fillets from either side of the mackerel. Season them with a little salt and pepper. Put a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a thin film of olive oil. When the oil is fairly hot, scatter in the garlic and bay leaves, then lay the mackerel fillets over them, skin side down. You’re looking for a gentle sizzle rather than a fierce flash-fry. As it cooks, the mackerel flesh will change from translucent pink to opaque white. When the fillets are almost completely white, turn them over for just a minute to finish cooking. The whole process won’t take longer than 5 minutes.
Let the garlic and bay just sizzle in the oil under and next to the fish, flavoring it gently. Lift the mackerel fillets from the pan, leaving the bay and garlic behind (they’re probably just starting to burn a bit). Give the fillets a squeeze of lemon juice and serve straight away, with salad (a sliced tomato salad is delicious with mackerel) and either new potatoes or buttered bread.