Holy mackerel

Is there a more underrated fish? Packed with dem omegas. Delicious, healthy and sustainable. Extremely easy to clean. CHEAP. It might literally be the best thing anyone can eat for the money.

It’s perfect grilled/broiled with nothing but salt:

But perhaps my favorite way to eat it is braised with radishes Korean style:

Any other fans of mackerel here? How do you like your mackerel?


I love mackerel. A local Rhode Island fish vendor here smokes it, which makes for a great meal with rice and some sort of pickle.

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I can’t grill at home (damn coop board), so escabeche is the way I usually make mackerel. Braised with radishes sounds pretty swell - got a recipe?

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Mmm love smoked mackerel also! Along similar lines, I recently had some local smoked bluefish, and I am tempted to say it was the best fish of any kind I’ve ever had.

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I find the broiler does a really great job when you don’t have a grill. But man an escabeche type preparation sounds fantastic!

As for recipe - it’s basically mackerel, garlic, ginger, hot pepper, korean pepper flakes, some soy sauce and scallions. (Maybe a touch of sugar to taste) But seriously the radish is the BEST PART of this dish, you won’t even care about the fish.

There are tons of recipes if you google for it, here’s a good simple one: http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/godeungeo-jorim


Speaking of smoking, hard not to recall an earlier post about cooking methods:

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In our household, we eat mackerel every other week, sometimes, just steam it with garlic, soy sauce and ginger, sometimes baked it topping with mustard, thyme and lemon sauce. But the best way to eat very fresh mackerel is sushi. We adore it, as much as sardine, the other fish that has more or less the same status.

I love mackerel, especially grilled with a good rub of salt. There’s a dude in Berlin who grills a variety of whole fish & filets at his stand: trout, mackerel, zander, squid. I almost always get a whole mackerel… and when I get a whole trout instead, I am inevitably disappointed.

He serves the filets and whole fish with homemade horseradish dip, an herb dip, lemon & red onion. It’s one of my favorite lunches in town to have (and thankfully, the pad we stay in usually is near one of his market locations :slight_smile:

I also absolutely love smoked mackerel, which is great served with cranberry-horseradish. I swearz.

If it’s Spanish mackerel (sometimes called cero), I’m in – grilled with a little lime, or even minced into ceviche.

But Kings? Nope. I’ll eat it smoked, but even if you trim the bloodline I find it oily and extremely fishy-tasting – and really unappetizing prepared any way other than smoked.

@Sunshine842 I’m not sure if I’ve ever had King mackerel. After some googling it appears the ones I usually get are called Atlantic mackerel. They are always from Norway and look like this:

I do love spanish mackerel also!

@linguafood it seems like mackerel takes especially well to a light salt cure (few hours with a soft sprinkle). It really changes the texture nicely, and a lot of mackerel is sold pre-salted this way in Korea. That fish stand is awesome! Street grilled fish is definitely something America is sorely lacking.

@naf how fresh do you get your mackerel? I believe all of ours is shipped frozen from Norway, which should be pretty fresh, but I’ve never thought to make sushi with it. How do you prepare yours? Sardines, now that’s another great oily super fish! It’s almost impossible to find those where I live in NJ. The only place I can find them is at a Portugese market in Newark. They are frozen but good quality, and they have a few different varieties available.

Speaking of sardines, I was recently in Korea and had some of these guys as sashimi. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konosirus_punctatus Unbelievably delicious. The guy was selling the fish out of his truck and the level of freshness he maintained was incredible. Of course all of the fish were live - but he would only use fish that were really really kickin. If they weren’t hopping up a good 6 inches on the cutting board they were discarded. He sliced them bone in and the bones were soft enough to easily chew through and added awesome flavor. Now that’s an experience you could never have in America.

Not my pic but this is what the sashimi looks like. Such incredible texture.


I’ve also been to Korea recently and had a fair bit of mackerel. This specimen from Busan was particularly good.


That my friend, is one of my favorite rustic meals of all time. Old school Korean food perfection right there.

I think mackerel is probably my favourite fish. I love it as sashimi, smoked pate or using flakes of smoked mackerel stirred through a vegetable fried rice.

My two favourite ways however are:

Fillets dusted in ground cumin, coriander, fennel seeds and chilli flakes. Quickly fried and served with daal and spinach.

Or Malaysian style. Filling the cavity of whole gutted mackerel with sambal assam and baking in an oven.

There are mackerel abundance in the French seas in summer, we bought them fresh from the market. The mackerel sushi, we ate in the Japanese restaurants, they have sardine sushi too.

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Wow I think you are officially the mackerel champ here. Smoked mackerel pate sounds delicious.

The dusted Mackerel you mention - is it just spices or do you use any flour or anything?

The Malaysian style sounds similar to a Thai recipe I saw here http://www.thaitable.com/thai/recipe/mackerel-with-chili-sauce

The sauce sounds pretty similar, but it’s a dip in the Thai recipe as opposed to a stuffing. Do you have a recipe for this? I googled around a bit but was only able to find curry/braise type preparations like this. https://asianinspirations.com.au/recipe/assam-fish-curry/ Still looks amazing though.

Yes I do also use a little flour and some salt when dusting.

I don’t have an actual recipe for the Malaysia mackerel. I have had it at my favourite Malaysian place and have made my own sambal assam for nasi lemak so I winged it. I have posted the samba recipe on another forum. I’ll have a look for it and post it when I find it along with a rough cooking time for the mackerel.

I have found the recipe for the Malaysian style mackerel. You probably won’t need all the sambal but it keeps well in the fridge.

Make the sambal as per my recipe below (from another post) but let down with water. Slash the skin and put some in the slashes and over the skin. Also put sambal on the inside of the fish.Bake for 20 -25 mins @ 180 c.

Soak about 20 dried red chillis for about 15 mins. When the chillis are soft I blend with one diced red onion, about 2 tbsp tamarind paste, 1 tsp of belacan and a little salt. I then fry this off until the oil starts to separate and add sugar (normally do this by eye depending on the volume of the mixture about 2 tbsp) and cook until it has a jammy consistency.

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I’m in the “love it” camp, especially bbq’ed/grilled and cooked like I had in Japan for breakfast. Cheap and still plentiful where I live (north western Europe). Smoked whole mackerel is probably the most common here.

One of my favourite fish is brill, however.

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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
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