Category: Fish Recipes

Mouthwatering Mackerel

Submitted by Matt 6/6/2010

I do class myself as a bit of a “foody” and aside from fishing I get a lot of enjoyment from cooking. What was once perceived as a more feminine past time has now been transformed into a staple skill of the new age metro-sexual man, made popular by a whole conveyer belt of celebrity chefs like Jamie Oliver, Rick Stein and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. A couple of things I have learnt in terms of hard and fast rules when it comes to cooking fish is a) to keep it simple, and b) make sure your produce is the freshest it can possibly be. This 2nd part is where we as sea-anglers can cash in with fresh fish readily available to us.

A lot of people are daunted when it comes to cooking fish so I have included a few of my favourite recipes for mackerel – an old favourite that is in season and showing in numbers now. All these dishes are really easy to make so why not pull your finger out and treat your better half or if still living at home make dinner for your mother. As far as I can see it is a win-win situation. After all do a bad job and you will never be asked to do it again. Get it right and you may get that pass to go out again and get some more fresh fish – now that would be a proper result!

Once a month I am going to post 2 or 3 of my favourite recipes focusing on a particular species that is in season – all are tried and tested many times over and I have never had any complaints so far.

Pan-fried mackerel rolled in oatsperfect lunch dish served with minted Cornish new potatoes, fresh green salad and a dollop of horseradish sauce on the side. (It also works really well with herring as well.)


Mackerel fillets
Porridge Oats
Salt & Pepper


  • Pour some porridge oats (season with salt and pepper) in to a shallow dish, coat both sides of the fillets and pat to help the oats stick to the fish.
  • Heat a non stick frying pan with some oil, lay the fillets skin side down and cook until crisp and nutty brown in colour.
  • Turn over and finish cooking; the total cooking time should be around 5 to 6 minutes, depending on fillet size.
  • Remove the fillets from the pan and lay on kitchen paper to remove any excess oil.

Devilled mackerelnice and spicy, this dish is best served with cous-cous and a fresh zingy salad with tomato, avocado, mint and lime juice.


  • Mackerel fillets
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon English mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon caster sugar
  • Salt
  • 40ml olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar


  • Mix all spices, sugar, olive oil and vinegar into a paste.
  • Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Make a couple of slashes in both sides of the fillets and rub with the spice paste.
  • Bake the fillets for about 8 minutes skin side up, remove and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving.

BBQ marinated mackerelthe ultimate summer dish to entertain friends and family. Nothing impresses more than going out and bringing home lunch that very day.


  • Whole gutted mackerel
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 fresh bay leaves, very finely shredded
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 4 tablespoon olive oil


  • Whisk together the garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves and olive oil. Rub the marinade all over the mackerel and inside the cavity.
  • Make sure your bbq is very hot. Put the fish on the grill and turn after five minutes, allowing the other side to cook for a few minutes longer until the fish is opaque all of the way through. Keep basting with the remaining marinade. Serve straight away.

Bass is best

Bass with Rose Harissa – submitted by Leakyboots 30/4/2015


For four people:

1.5 lbs new potatoes (or more if you’re piggy)
2 tablespoons rose harissa
4 tablespoons olive oil
About a dozen spring onions, trimmed
4 chunky bass fillets
1 teaspoon salt

Slice the potatoes about 1/4 inch thick. Mix the rose harissa with the olive oil, and add about a teaspoon of salt. Use half of the harissa/oil mix to coat the potatoes and the spring onions. Cook these in a shallow baking dish for about 20-25 minutes at 200 degrees (keep going till the spuds are tender).
Make slashes in the skins of the bass fillets, and rub the fillets with the remaining harissa/oil mix.
Lay the fillets, skin-side up, on top of the spuds, and cook under a hot grill for 8-10 minutes — until the flesh of the fish is cooked, and the skin is a bit charred and crunchy.
Serve with wedges of lemon if you want to look posh.


Bass with potato and anchovy hats – submitted by Leakyboots 25/2/2015

This works best with fillets from a decent sized bass, say a three pounder.  Skin the fillets, and cut each in half to make four portions.  Take five or six large unpeeled new potatoes, and slice them as thinly as possible, about a sixteenth of an inch thick.  (I use a box grater from the supermarket, but a mandolin might be easier and lead to less bleeding knuckles and blue language.)  Season the fillets with salt and black pepper, and lay them on an oiled non-stick baking tray.  Smush up a small tin of anchovies and mix them into the potato slices.  Sprinkle a pinch of thyme into the potatoes as well (dried thyme is fine), add a good pinch of black pepper, and enough olive oil to make them look shiny.  Don’t salt the potatoes, the anchovies take care of that.  Now use the potato slices to make hats over each of the fish fillets.  The hats should cover the fillets well, and come out a wee bit around the edges as well; and they should be four or five slices thick.  Cook in a hot oven (about a hundred and ninety degrees) for roughly thirty minutes.  The potatoes should look almost like crisps – brown and crunchy.

Sea Bass Ceviche – submitted by Leakyboots 25/2/2015

This is yummy stuff, and I was surprised (and very well chuffed) to find that it works with fillets from the deep-freeze; but fresh bass has a slight edge.  To make a starter for four people, you need a bass of about two pounds, filleted and skinned.  Cut the fillets into slices about an eighth of an inch thick.  Put them in a bowl, then chop two celery stalks to about the same thickness, and dump that on top of the bass.

In a different container, mix this lot: one garlic clove, chopped wee small or grated; about a tablespoon of onion or scallion, also finely chopped; two medium chillies, finely sliced (it looks good if they are of different colours); a handful of fresh coriander, mostly stalks, chopped finely; a teaspoon of salt; a teaspoon of sugar; the juice of one medium orange and the juice of four limes.  Pour the mixture over the celery and fish, and let it sit for between twenty-five and thirty-five minutes – until the fish turns opaque.  Don’t leave it too long, or the fish will fall apart, leaving you with a bowl of slush.  Drain in a colander and serve – either with sliced avocado, or with bread and tomatoes.  I like a wee drizzle of good olive oil over the fish as well, and a few fresh coriander leaves, but these aren’t essential.


Submitted by Matt 6/7/2010

There are a couple of things to know before you start cooking that can really improve your eating experience.

Bass caught off rocks or on surf beaches tend to be a lot cleaner and are less likely to taste a little muddy – these are the ones I generally eat when I catch them.

Secondly bass have pretty big scales that generally need to be removed before cooking, especially if you intend on eating the skin. In my opinion the skin, when crispy, is the best bit so it’s well worth putting in the preparation time. To de-scale the fish just hold the tail of the fish (it’s a lot easier if the fish is whole) and scrape the blade of your filleting knife away from you towards the head. This can get a bit messy though so it’s best to do it in the sink. As with any knife work, whether de-scaling or filleting please be careful as one slip and you could easily lose a digit or two. Slicing away from your body is a good and safe practice to get into.

As for the recipes, here are 3 of my favourites, all are pretty simple but packed with great flavours. As ever the only rule is to make sure the fish is really fresh – cooked on the same day or at the latest the day after being caught if possible.

Pan-fried bass with salsa verdethis is a great summer dish served with simply buttered Cornish new potatoes and fresh salad or vegetables. A nice white wine or ice cold beer is the perfect accompaniment.


  • Sea-bass fillets
  • Olive oil
  • Knob of butter
  • Handful of fresh parsley
  • Handful of fresh basil
  • Handful of fresh Mint
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Handful of Capers
  • Handful of Gherkins
  • Half a dozen anchovy fillets
  • Splash of red wine vinegar
  • Salt & pepper


  • Finely chop all the herbs, garlic, capers, gherkins and anchovies. Loosen the paste with a little of the vinegar and a generous splash of olive oil. Season to taste but be careful with the salt as the capers can be quite salty themselves, especially if they have been preserved in brine.
  • Heat a non stick frying pan with some oil, lay the fillets skin side down and cook until crisp and nutty brown in colour, adding the knob of butter half way through.
  • Turn over and finish cooking; the total cooking time should be around 5 to 6 minutes, depending on fillet size.
  • Remove the fillets from the pan and lay on kitchen paper to remove any excess grease.

Baked sea-bass with lemon and fennelthe fish steams in its own juices and the flesh almost falls off the bone – I like chips and a lemon mayonnaise to go with this.


  • Whole sea-bass
  • Sliced fennel bulb
  • 1 lemon
  • Splash of white wine
  • A little water


  • Stuff the cavity of the fish with the fennel and the lemon and place in the bottom of a roasting tin, pour in the splash of wine and the water and then seal the tin tightly with foil. (You can wrap the fish itself in foil but leave some space in the parcel to allow the steam to circulate)
  • Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7 and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Sea-bass with frizzled chillies, ginger & spring onionsthe smells that will come from cooking this dish will blow you away!


  • Sea-bass fillets
  • 3cm piece root ginger
  • 6 spring onions
  • 2 red chillies
  • 2 tbsp oil for frying
  • 2 garlic cloves , finely slice
  • 2 tbsp spiced black rice vinegar or 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • Sesame oil
  • A handful coriander , leaves roughly chopped


  • Shred the ginger, spring onions and red chilli finely. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok, and when it is very hot, fry the ginger, spring onions and chilli in turn until they frizzle up. They should hiss and spit. Scoop them out the second they’re done. Fry the garlic for a few seconds until it is light brown then scoop out.
  • Tip out all but a dribble of oil and add the sea bass skin-side down for about 4-6 minutes. Press them into the wok so they don’t curl up, the skin should crisp and brown quickly and the fillets cook through. Turn them over if you need to.
  • Serve the fillets with the frizzled chillies, ginger and spring onions on top, drizzle over the vinegar and sesame oil and sprinkle over the coriander.

Mackerel Ceviche

Submitted by Nath 10/4/2008


If you want a simple, light, tasty and altogether different way to eat your mackerel, then you have to try this!

I first learned of ceviche (pr. ser-vee-chee) during a trip around Belize. There are a whole herd of variations to the dish, but essentially it’s a kind of salsa with the addition of fish. Raw fish.

It may sound a bit iffy at first, but believe me when I tell you it’s not quite how it first seems. Normally, I would agree that eating of raw mackerel should only be done by seagulls, other mackerel, and fishermen who will do anything to win a bet – but not this time.

Now, although you don’t actually cook the mackerel, technically you don’t actually eat it raw, either. Allow me to explain by sharing this gem of a recipe.


Image½ lb of fresh mackerel fillets (roughly 3 or 4)
½ a red onion
1 red or yellow bell pepper
1 fresh chilli (only use an amount within your own personal pain threshold)
1 clove of garlic
A good handful of fresh coriander
2 limes
2 Tablespoons of orange juice (from a carton is fine)
½ Tablespoon of good olive oil
A good pinch of salt (rock salt is best, but table salt will do)


1.    Remove the skin from your mackerel fillets: Place them skin side down, flat on a chopping board. Whilst firmly holding the tail end of the skin, ease the knife blade in gently between the upward facing flesh and the skin in contact with the board. With a gentle sawing motion, work your knife further up the fillet until you can lay the side of the blade flat on the board so it effectively holds the skin against the board and the flesh rests on the upper side. Then carry on cutting up toward the head of the fillet ensuring you keep the blade horizontal and paring as close to the skin as possible.

2.    With the skin now off, remove the remaining small bones that run along the lateral line of the fish. Do this by cutting the fillet lengthways either side of the lateral line. The strip of bones can then be removed in one go.

3.    Chop the boneless fillet into bite sized chunks about the size of the tip of your little finger.

Image4.    Finely dice the red onion

5.    Finely dice the pepper

6.    Finely dice the chilli (seeds removed)

7.    Finely dice or mash the garlic

8.    Place the onion, garlic, pepper, chilli and mackerel chunks into a bowl.

9.    Squeeze in the juice of both limes

10.    Add the orange juice

11.    Mix it all up together ensuring the fish has been well coated by the juice.

12.    Cover the bowl with cling film and stick it in the fridge for 4 hours*, return once or twice to stir it up.

*During this time, the mackerel will ‘cook’ in the citric acid from the juices. If you leave it more than 4 hours don’t worry, that’s just the minimum time necessary for the juice to work its magic.

Just before you plan to eat it, stir in the remaining ingredients:-

Chopped coriander
½ Tablespoon of good olive oil
Salt to taste

All that’s left to do then is to pour a cold beer, shovel the Ceviche onto some crackers or water biscuits and enjoy!
NB. This recipe also works with fish such as Bass and Black Bream, but I have other recipes that I feel do them more justice – and I’ll be sharing them soon!


Bon Appetite – or should I say Provecho!

Cod wrapped in parma ham

Submitted by alwayshopeful 9/2/2015

Cod wrapped in parma ham

I have just tried this recipe and it was fantastic with the spicy chorizo and the salty ham against the plain fish and to my surprise it really brought the flavour of the fish out

2 cod fillets (preferably Cornish cod caught by yourself)
4 slices of parma ham or any dry cured ham you like

Wrap the cod fillets in the parma ham and put back in the fridge.

Cook about 300g of new/baby potatoes(halved) until just tender

Take 100g of chorizo and dice into half centimeter cubes and fry gently in a small amount of oil.
Meanwhile dice up half a red and green pepper, finely dice half a reasonable sized onion and thinly slice the other half and add to the chorizo, and continue to fry, take a handful of cherry / baby plump tomatoes halved and add to the pan, season to taste.

Drain the potatoes and add to the mixture along with 1/4 pint of stock and about the same amount of passata and simmer until the mixture has a thickish sauce.

Place the cod on a pre-heated baking tray in a hot oven(200c) and cook in the oven until the fish is just cooked, for the fillets I used this took about 8 minutes.

Mullet Recipes

Roasted grey mullet (thick-lip) submitted by Leakyboots 25/2/2015

Grey mullet are delicious if you catch them from a hard sand beach.  In estuaries, they can become muddy, but in the surf they seem to feed mostly on small shrimps – so that’s what they taste like.  I tend to catch them in the spring, using a lure fished on the drop.

Fillet and skin the fish.  Put the fillets in a bowl, and add a teaspoon of salt, a tablespoon of chopped fresh thyme leaves, the grated zest of a lemon, two grated cloves of garlic, a tablespoon of olive oil, and a shake of hot sauce (Tabasco or somesuch).   Stir everything around, then leave the fish in this mixture for at least an hour (in the fridge).

Heat a non-stick frying pan as hot as you can.  Shake the excess oil from the fillets, then cook for about two minutes on each side – just to get a bit of colour and crispiness.  Then put the pan into the oven at 180-degrees for about ten minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.

Curried Pollack

 (or any white fish)  submitted by Tim_The_Manc  27/2/2015

6 Tablespoons natural Yoghurt
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
4 Teaspoons Garam Masala
2 Teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
1.1/2 Tablespoons freshly grated Ginger
½ bulb Garlic (crushed to a pulp)
Salt & Pepper
Oil (for drizzling)

I like my curries hot so have already upped the ante from the original Madhur Jaffrey recipe..

Mix everything but the salt, pepper and oil in a bowl and chill for 20 minutes (not you, the marinade)

Take your fish of choice, I went for Pollock, make diagonal cuts in the flesh, rub in salt and pepper to taste and set aside for 10-15 minutes.

Rub ¾ of the marinade into the fish, keep ¼ to one side and put aside for 15 minutes to work its magic.

Slap the fish on some tin foil, dribble a bit of oil over the top and grill each side for 10 mins (or until brown) when you turn it over spread the rest of the marinade on as it will have lost a bit and again grill this side for 10 mins or until brown.

Stick it in the oven at 180 degrees and bake for further 10 minutes

Serve straight out of the oven with rice of choice (and try to avoid continental oitty toitty beers )