How to Cook Mackeral

Before we get onto the subject of how to cook mackeral - a brief warning

Make no mistake, this is seriously stinky fish.  Open the doors and windows and make sure the pan is cleaned well after use.

It is also seriously tasty and nutritious and surprisingly cheap.

I can remember as a child going mackeral fishing on holiday in Cornwall. It was brilliant fun (once you found a shoal)  All that was needed for bait was a slither of aluminium foil.  The mackeral thought the foil was a tiny fish.  We were reeling them in.  My mother cooked them whole under the grill, making diagonal cuts in the flesh to ensure they were cooked to the centre.

Now I have no doubt that if she had bought them from a fishmonger I would have turned my nose up at them, but because I had helped catch them I thought they were delicious and have liked them ever since.

However if you are doing your hunter gathering at the local market rather than from a boat, it is wise to have your mackeral filleted.  It makes life so much easier

Although I would usually say that fresh food is always far better, I do admit to preferring tinned mackerel.  There's less smell, there's no danger of getting a bone stuck in your throat, your rubbish bin (trash can) won't stink out the neighbourhood for days and they are still tasty from a tin.  Just watch for added stuff such as salt, oil and preservatives.  You also get extra calcium from tinned fish because the bones and skin are soft and edible.

But back to fresh mackeral, by far the easiest way to cook it is to quickly fry it, preferably in butter or olive oil.  I mean really quickly.  It takes only minutes to fry a fillet of mackerel (or you can grill a whole gutted fish as mentioned above) and mackerel is so rich that it is really filling.  You can't eat more than one fish, if that, even though they are small.


Now watch this video and see how easy fresh mackerel are to cook and eat.  They only take a few minutes in a hot buttery pan.  Don't forget that they are also great for barbeques.

Video - how to cook mackeral

Other ways to cook mackeral

Ever heard of a roll mop?  it's a pickled herring.  You buy them in jars, rolled up and they are delicious.  Even tastier if you pickle them yourself. Well here's another tasty option.  There's no reason why you can't enjoy pickled mackerel in much the same way as a pickled herring.

Still not inspired?  you could try the BBC Good Food website which I have never known to provide a lousy recipe in my experience.

Or be guided by your favourite cook books

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How to cook mackeral

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