Grilled Mackerel with Chilli and Ginger Baste

mackerel - SS@B

Oily fish including mackerel and herring have high levels of the health-giving Omega 3 known to benefit the heart, help keep cholesterol levels under control and thought to reduce the likelihood of some cancers – all good reasons to try and include these oily fish in your diet a few times each week.


Serves 4 – 4 small whole mackerel, gutted 


For the baste

1 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped

1 tbsp ketjap manis (a thick, sweet, rich, syrupy Indonesian version of soy sauce containing sugar and spice, similar to soy sauce but sweeter; used in marinades, as a condiment or as an ingredient in Indonesian cooking)

1 tsp freshly grated root ginger

Grated zest and juice of 1 lime 

1 tsp honey

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


To serve

1 cucumber, de-seeded and evenly diced

A splash white wine vinegar

1 tsp soft brown sugar

A handful of bitter salad leaves such as rocket, raddichio or chicory,

A few mint and coriander leaves

2 tbsp sushi ginger

  • Slash the fish 7-8 times on each side, straight to the bone. Arrange each fish on a large sheet of aluminium foil.
  • Mix together the baste ingredients and brush over the fish, taking care to push some into the slashes of the fish. Leave to marinade for 5-10 minutes.
  • Preheat the grill to its highest setting. Grill the fish for 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through. The flesh will look opaque and be firm to the touch.
  • Make the salad: toss the cucumber together with the vinegar, sugar, salad leaves and herbs. Divide between 4 plates and arrange a fish on the top of each, sprinkle the ginger on top. Serve straight away.


This article was provided by the Seafood School at Billingsgate.

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