Mackerel Fillets

Mackerel Fillets

Mackerel is a fish that particularly repays being eaten very fresh before its high oil content starts to spoil. Its aroma is light and oceanic, reminiscent of fine green seaweed, and its predominantly pink flesh is succulent. Although there's a high level of oil, it's balanced by generous amounts of juice, which helps disperse it in the mouth. It's a fish that takes to barbecuing, poaching, baking and grilling, works well with strong flavours and is delicious with nothing but a squeeze of lemon.

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Portion Size:
Min 150g
Skin on:
Yes
Bones:
No
Can I freeze it?
Yes
Latin name:
Scomber scombrus
Allergen:
Fish
May contain:
Crustacean, Mollusc

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Cooking techniques

HOW TO: Fish cooked over a fire is delicious, though it’s really important to get the optimum cooking temperature by allowing the grill bars to become hot, then waiting for the flames to die right down again.

Rub a whole fish with oil, make a few slashes into the flesh, then sprinkle lightly with fresh breadcrumbs (this will prevent sticking and leave you with some nice crispy bits).

As a guide, a 450g whole fish which serves one person, will take about 7-8 minutes to cook on each side (don’t turn the fish until this time).  You will see the skin slowly crisping and charring – if it happens too quickly your fire is too hot).  A 1 – 1.2kg fish cooked in the same way will take 12-15 minutes a side.

For fillets, rub the fish with olive oil, sprinkle lightly with breadcrumbs, and cook, skin side down, until you see the skin crisp and fish cooking as you see the heat rising through it. Flip the fillet over for the last 2 minutes of cooking time and serve.

HOW TO: Using your grill is an easy and healthy way to cook either thinner fillets or portions like hake and sea bass at home. 

Preheat your grill, rub your fish with a little olive oil and salt and put skin side up on a piece of parchment paper (this is to prevent fish from sticking) onto a grill pan. 

Place it under the grill on the top shelf, about 10 to 15cm away from the heat. As a guide a fillet portion will need 8-10 minutes, a flatfish for 10-12 minutes.  You don’t need to turn flat fish as the heat of the grill will cook it through.

HOW TO: To pan fry a piece of fish, use a non-stick pan or one that you know is non-sticky! Heat the pan and add a few tablespoons of a neutral oil (vegetable oil will do).  When the oil is hot, lay the fish in the pan. For hake, bass and salmon put it in the pan skin-side down. For cod, thick white fish, flat fish fillets and gurnard lay them flesh-side down. 

Allow the fish to sizzle and don’t be tempted to turn them, let the pan do the work, you will see the heat rise and the fish will firm up. If it’s a thin piece of fish turn it and cook for just a minute or so and it's done. If the fish is thicker, after you've turned it place in a pre-heated oven set to 200˚C/180˚C Fan/400˚F/Gas Mark 6 for about 3-4 minutes to finish the cooking.

Recommended Butters & Sauces for Mackerel Fillets

Mackerel Fillets recipes

A selection of Mitch's favourite recipes for Mackerel