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Soused mackerel

soused mackerel salad1

Sometimes, you eat a dish in a restaurant that is so incredible you still remember every detail years later. That's true for me of a mackerel dish with orange salad that I ate in Moro several years ago.


I was inspired to try and recreate it. The orange salad does go very well with the fish, but you could also add a bit of soy sauce and ginger to the marinade and serve it with rice instead. Or even just the fish with rye bread.


If you've never filleted a mackerel before, don't worry. It's very easy, you just need a good sharp knife. This website provides clear and simple instructions.


Serves 4 as a starter

For the salad

2 small mackerel

1 bulb of fennel

2 oranges

a bunch of flat-leaf parsley

6 radishes

olive oil


For the marinade

50ml sherry vinegar

50ml red wine vinegar

1 tsp sugar

a few bay leaves

1 tsp salt

a few parsley stalks

a few black peppercorns

200ml water

1 red onion


Put all the marinade ingredients except the onion into a saucepan, bring to the boil and immediately remove from the heat. Leave to steep while you fillet and pin-bone the mackerel and thinly slice the red onion.


Over high heat, heat a little olive oil in a frying pan until hot then fry the mackerel fillets, skin-side up, for about 20-30 seconds until sealed. Put the fillets, still skin-side up into a shallow dish and scatter over the onion. Pour the marinade over, cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours (overnight is fine).


Take the fish out of the fridge a half hour or so before serving. Trim and thinly slice the fennel and radishes, with a mandolin, if you have one. Remove all skin and pith from the oranges with a sharp knife, halve and cut into slender half-moon slices.


Roughly chop the parsley and any fennel fronds that were attached to the bulb and add those to the oranges, fennel and radishes. Glug over some extra virgin olive oil, season, toss and divide between four plates.


Break the mackerel into large flakes with your fingers, holding back as much of the skin as you can (it doesn't matter if there's some skin attached) and scatter over the salad.




Photo by Kristi Korotash


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