Fresh Devon mackerel is always a winner; baked, barbecued, tossed in a salad, or pan-fried. Succulent and flavourful with a beautifully crisp skin, whole mackerel and mackerel fillets are relatively inexpensive and very quick to cook, so make a great lunch or supper any time of the week. Full of good omega-3 oil.
Fillets: Heat a dash of olive oil in a frying pan. Dry the mackerel fillets with kitchen paper, season with pepper, then add to the pan, skin-side down. Press the fillet down a little so that it doesn’t curl. Leaving the skin on not only provides a crispy treat, but helps hold the fillet together.
Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet. Once the skin is crisp and golden, turn the fillet over and remove the pan from the heat. Leave the mackerel in the pan to cook through, for 1 minute. Serve immediately.
Some people fry a little bacon and a few halves of cherry tomatoes, to add a zip of extra flavour. Grilling them gives a deliciously charred taste.
Barbecued or baked: For 4 whole mackerel cleaned and gutted (ask us to do this for you, if you prefer). Score each side about 6 times not quite to the bone. Brush the mackerel with oil and barbecue or bake for 5-6 minutes on each side. Spoon the drizzle over the fish and let stand for 2 minutes.
Make the drizzle by whisking together, 2 tbsp olive oil, the juice and zest of 2 limes, 2 teaspoons of honey, a knob of ginger grated and a clove of garlic finely chopped, in a small bowl. Add a few flakes of chilli to taste and a dash of Thai fish sauce.
Mackerel salad: 2 smoked mackerel fillets (about 200g/8oz in weight), skinned and flaked.
Plus 350g/10oz of just boiled small potatoes roughly chopped up and a bunch of baby spinach or watercress.
Make a dressing of about 100g of crème fraîche, with 1 dessert spoon of horseradish, a dash of cream and the juice of 1 lemon. Season well with black pepper only.
Tip the potatoes into the bowl of dressing, stir until they are well coated, add the flaked mackerel, baby spinach or watercress, toss gently, pile on plates and serve while still warm. Delicious.
Based in Honiton, EX14 1HA, in East Devon, we are an independent traditional fishmonger committed to providing fresh fish and shellfish of the highest standard. Order via The Devon Fishmonger website, open 24/7. Or call 01404 548867.
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