The versatility of mackerel is very large. This post summarizes the various avenues to unlock mackerel’s many ways to shine. For this reason there is no recipe attached. While many people find mackerel too fatty, too fishy or too bony, it is one of the healthiest and cheapest fish to eat.

Here we lead you to the various ways to deal with these challenges and let the fish come to its full flavor.

the versatility of mackerel

Mackerel usually deals with a dilute vinegar treatment well: it takes out any fishy taste and superficially cooks the meat. After that a route to cure it in sugar and brine with herbs and spices delivers a beautifully full tasting fish. Or intensify the pickle in more concentrated vinegar to make wonderful tasting battera, Japan’s most affordable sushi.

In the case of making a salty taste, all we need to do is cure it for 4 hours with lots of salt, after which we can enjoy salted mackerel.

Also, after a pre-cure in a dilute brine of salt and sugar, we can warm smoke it, which brings out wonderful flavors and which forms the basis for making smoked mackerel mousse.

When we would briefly pan fry the mackerel on both sides and let it further cure in a mixture of fried onions and some vinegar, you make the best escabeche, that is so popular in Spain and South America.

Storing the sugar cured mackerel in mustard sauce, makes it a Swedish traditional substitute for herring.

And finally, letting the fish raw, only removing the bones and slicing finely, we have mackerel tartar, that we can cook with lemon juice salt and spices similar as ceviche.

Special equipment

in general a pair of pincers is all you need

mackerel ©️ Nel Brouwer-van den Bergh

The versatility of mackerel


Go the the individual recipes that are linked above for your preferred mackerel recipe

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