Mackerel may not be regarded as the most luxurious of fish – it’s not rare, delicate, or expensive – but that’s no reason not to put it centre stage. With its wonderful appearance – especially when the skin is cooked and turns various hues of silver and gold – and its meaty flavour and texture, it makes a delicious (and nutritious) highlight to any meal.
Because mackerel is a strong tasting and ‘oily’ fish, it needs to be balanced with acidity and fresh flavours. Fennel with mint and yogurt provide a good match, and orange and pomegranate bring both colour and citrus.
You’ll need, per serving:
One mackerel fillet
Half a fennel
A teaspoon or so of natural yogurt
Fresh mint, chopped – to taste
A few slices of orange
All you need to do is to shave the fennel as thinly as possible – a mandolin is great for this job, but a sharp knife will do the job just as well. Then add a little yogurt, no more than a heaped teaspoon, and mix it in. You want to barely coat the fennel, not slather it. Add some fresh mint to taste.
Put a small splash of sunflower or groundnut oil in a frying pan. Once the pan is good and hot, lay the mackerel fillet in, skin side down. Fry for 2 minutes, then turn the fish over, and fry for another minute.
Serve by placing a small mound of the fennel slaw on the centre of the plate. Lay the mackerel fillet on top. Decorate the plate with slices of orange and the pomegranate seeds in any way you like!