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Sticky Mackerel recipe

Sticky Mackerel recipe

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Mackerel, being an oily fish, are a healthy option. Try this recipe for whole mackerel with a sticky sauce for a burst of flavour.

3 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 4 x 500–600-g mackerel, cleaned and gutted
  • olive oil, for frying
  • For the sticky sauce
  • 50ml ketchup
  • 25g brown sugar
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon mace
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon ground black pepper

MethodPrep:5min ›Cook:15min ›Ready in:20min

  1. First make the sticky sauce. Place all ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan and bring slowly to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes then allow to cool. Set aside until needed.
  2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4. Make small cuts along both sides of the mackerel and season inside and outside the fish. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan until smoking then char each side of the fish for a few minutes.
  3. Transfer the mackerel to a roasting dish and put in the preheated oven.
  4. Mix the ingredients together for the sticky sauce.
  5. After about 10 minutes take out the fish and paint the sticky sauce across the top of the fish. Return to the oven for a further 5 minutes until the sauce looks thick and sticky. Serve immediately.

More information:

Fishy Fishy Cookbook is published by New Holland Publishers, price £16.99.

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Caramelised mackerel

Ca kho is a popular Vietnamese caramelised fish dish. This simple version of the classic recipe uses mackerel, an oily fish that’s a good source of long-chain omega-3 fats. It may sound a little strange to caramelise fish, but the flavours are sensational.



Skill level


  • 1½ tbsp white sugar
  • 3 tsp fish sauce
  • 125 ml (½ cup) fish stock
  • 2 spring onions, sliced into 4 cm lengths
  • 1 tbsp diced onion
  • 1 tsp diced garlic
  • 125 ml (½ cup) coconut water
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 long red chillies
  • 2 mackerel fillets
  • coriander, to garnish

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Heat sugar in a frying pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until golden and caramelised. Add fish sauce and simmer for 2 minutes or until light caramel colour. Add fish stock and coconut water and cook for a further 3 minutes or until it returns to a simmer.

Meanwhile, place another frying pan over medium-high heat. Add vegetable oil, then saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes or until fragrant and softened. Add the onion and garlic to the caramel sauce. Next add the chillies and spring onion.

Place the mackerel into the pan with the thin tail of the fish sitting on the spring onion so it doesn't overcook. Simmer with mackerel in the sauce for 5 minutes or until cooked. Garnish with coriander to serve.

Thai Chili Paste With Mackerel Recipe (น้ำพริกปลาทู)

In my opinion, nam prik pla tu is one of the best culinary uses for whole short mackerel that I’ve ever seen. This divine Thai chili paste is incredibly addictive. It’s a gorgeous combination of smoky, spicy, salty, and sour. And it’s pretty straightforward to make.

Pla tu actually refers to a type of short mackerel that is native to Southeast Asia. You can often find frozen pla tu in Asian grocery stores, and I’d recommend seeking them out because they have a unique flavor profile and texture.

Pla tu are smaller than the mackerel we are used to in Western countries. I snapped the below pic while making some nam prik pla tu in my home in Chiang Mai, Thailand to show you what they look like.

Note that in Thailand when you buy pla tu the fish has normally already been steamed. That may or may not be true when you buy it at home. The fish has an incredible natural saltiness that makes it delicious to eat on its own. However, combine it into a chili paste and you get mind-blowing results.

This recipe also works perfectly fine with canned tuna in my opinion. So don’t be deterred if you can’t find pla tu. The reason I chose canned tuna as a substitute is for convenience and because the end texture of the fish after pounding in the mortar is similar to canned tuna meat.

If you are starting the recipe with raw pla tu, you will want to steam the mackerel first for roughly 12 minutes. I like to steam fish in the oven by wrapping the short mackerel in tin foil and cooking it at 180 degrees Celsius.

The recipe for this Thai chili paste with mackerel involves flash frying your previously steamed fish and combining it in a pestle and mortar with blackened shallots, chilis, and garlic. Alternatively, if you use canned tuna all you need to do is drain the fish and plonk it in your mortar.

Blackening the shallots, chilis, and garlic in a dry pan gives them an added smoky dimension that tastes incredible. Blackening them also releases their natural oils. This is a common technique in Thai cooking when making a chili paste, particularly up in the north of the country.

Seasoning for the dish comes in the form of lime juice, some salt, fish sauce, pasteurized pla ra (optional), and some MSG, which is also optional.

I’ll dedicate an entire article in the future to pla ra. What you need to know for now is that it is a type of seasoning sauce made from fish that’s been left to ferment for months. It has a pungent, funky aroma and a wickedly good flavor.

I recommend always buying pasteurized pla ra because if you don’t treat this sauce with heat, it has been known to cause liver fluke. The pasteurized bottled version you can find on Amazon and in Asian grocery stores is perfectly safe to eat.

I use the same ingredient in my Thai salad with cucumber recipe .

(For anyone concerned about the culinary use of MSG, I’d recommend this excellent article which debunks the scare-mongering around MSG . Alternatively, just leave it out if you don’t want to use it.)

As far as accompaniments go for this Thai chili paste, you can’t go wrong with some steamed jasmine rice or some sticky rice. Soft boiled eggs also work in beautiful harmony with the paste. In Thailand, it’s popular to eat steamed vegetables such as pumpkin or eggplant with chili pastes.

You can garnish the final dish with a sprig of coriander if you like, but I wouldn’t go out any buy some fresh coriander just for that purpose.

Anyway, without further ado, here’s the recipe.

I also have a Thai cookbook, Thai Food At Home, which costs just $3.99…that’s less than the price of a Pad Thai at your local takeout. You can grab a copy here .

This marinated mackerel recipe comes from The Fishy Fishy Cookbook by chefs and food writers James Ginzler, Loz Talent and Paul Shovlin who together with television personality and presenter Dermot O'Leary run the Fishy Fishy seafood brasserie in Brighton, England. Their ethos is to only serve fresh and local caught fish accompanied by in season ingredients to serve customers a wide range of delicious meals. It will serves four try it with the sticky sauce below for a burst of flavour.

Four 500-600-g mackerel, cleaned and gutted

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

ingredients for the Marinade Sauce

One quarter teaspoon cayenne pepper

Half teaspoon smoked paprika, allspice, ground cinnamon, mace and ground black pepper

One teaspoon onion powder and crushed garlic

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1. First make the marinade sauce. Place all ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan and bring slowly to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes then allow to cool. Set aside until needed.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4. Make small cuts along both sides of the mackerel and season inside and outside. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan until smoking then char each side for a few minutes.

Transfer to a roasting dish and put in the preheated oven.

3. After about 10 minutes take out the fish and paint the sticky sauce across the top. Return to the oven for a further 5 minutes until the sauce looks thick and sticky. Serve immediately.

If you like our Traditional Scottish Recipes and would like to easily share them with your friends and family please use the social networking buttons below:

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For the roasted rhubarb, preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Cut the rhubarb into 15cm/6in or so lengths (about the length of a wooden spoon-handle) and place in a roasting tin with half a tea-cup of water and the light brown sugar. Roast until just soft enough to take the point of a knife, about 10-15 minutes. Allow to cool, then drain, reserving the cooking juices.

Dip the skin side of each mackerel fillet into the seasoned flour to lightly coat. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Gently place the mackerel fillets in the hot pan, skin-side down, and scatter over the rosemary. Add the roasted rhubarb to the side of the pan to heat through and add the capers for a little vinegary flavour.

Turn the mackerel after just two or so minutes when you can see that the mackerel is cooked halfway up the fillet. Cook for a further minute or two, then add the sherry vinegar for richness and allow to just come to the boil in the pan before removing the mackerel and the rhubarb. To the pan juices, add a little of the juices from the reserved roasted rhubarb to just lift the crispy bits from the pan where all the flavour is. Serve straightaway, with the sauce over the mackerel with the rhubarb on the side.

Preheat the oven to l90°C (fan 170°C/gas mark 5) and spray four ovenproof ramekins with low-calorie cooking spray.

Put all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl (except the golden syrup) and whisk with an electric hand whisk until fully combined, light and airy.

Distribute the golden syrup evenly between each ramekin. Top with the cake mixture and bake in the oven for 20 minutes until just cooked through.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly in the ramekins, then turn out into serving dishes. Serve with your choice of accompaniment.

Recipes extracted from Pinch of Nom: 100 Slimming Home-Style Recipes, out now (Bluebird, £20)


Place the mackerel on a baking sheet and use a chef's blowtorch to quickly cook the mackerel (alternatively cook them under a very hot grill for a few minutes).

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, then add the pak choi and string beans to blanch for 30 seconds. Drain, then transfer into very cold water to stop the cooking. Drain again and pat dry.

Heat a large griddle pan and drizzle a little oil over the pak choi. Cook on the hot griddle for a couple of minutes on each side until lightly charred. Remove the pak choi and keep warm. Drizzle a little oil over the string beans and griddle them for a few minutes until lightly charred.

For the chilli jam, put all the chilli jam ingredients, except the sugar and crème fraîche, in a food processor and blend to a smooth purée.

Heat the sugar in a heavy-based saucepan over a low to medium heat until it melts and forms a golden-brown caramel. Do not stir and keep an eye on it so that it doesn’t burn.

Once the sugar has caramelised, carefully pour in the puréed chilli jam mixture and stir well (the mixture will bubble up a lot, so take care). Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes, or until sticky and jam-like. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly.

To serve, place a fillet of mackerel on one side of the plate and serve the pak choi and beans on the side. Drizzle the chilli jam over the fish and garnish with the coriander cress and a spoon of crème fraîche.

Sticky Apricot Butter Braai Snoek – Finger-licking delicious

/>by Melissa Jacobs

Sticky Apricot Butter Braai Snoek: The South African delicacy you don't want to miss. Image: Supplied.

If you live in Cape Town or are on holiday in Cape Town, you must try this Sticky Apricot Butter Braai Snoek. Snoek and sweet potatoes are traditionally a much-loved Capetonian meal. This recipe includes a finger-licking sticky apricot and butter glaze that will tempt you to lick your plate afterwards.

If the snoek is defrosted, you can have this Sticky Apricot Butter Braai Snoek ready in a jiffy. Preparation time is only 10 minutes before you place the snoek on the braai to grill to perfection for about 40 minutes. Remember to baste the snoek regularly with the glaze and your Capetonian meal will be ready in less than an hour.

Snoek is part of the mackerel family and only found in New Zealand, South Africa and Chile. It has a distinct flavour and smell due to this game fish mostly eating sardines, anchovy and mantis shrimps.

Pan fried Mackerel, Fennel and Green apple salad with lime oil

Turning Leaf have created the ultimate summer recipe, inspired by its Pinot Grigio wine. The crisp and fruity wine goes really well with the pan-fried mackerel and the fennel and green apple salad makes it really fresh and light – the perfect dish for a summers lunch. The recipe was created as a collaboration between Turning Leaf winemaker Stephanie Edge and culinary artist Esther Röling – we gave it a go ourselves (substituting the green apples with Braeburn) and thought it pure genius!

Ingredients & Instructions:

Use a peeler to remove the zest of the limes. Only remove the green, avoid peeling the white pith. Cut the peel into small squares.

Bring water to a boil and add the zest and remove after 20 seconds. Repeat once more with fresh water. Add the zest to the oil.

Fennel and green apple salad:

2 bulbs of fennel with tops

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 green apple, cut into thin sticks

Remove the green tops from the fennel and keep aside. Slice the fennel as thin as possible (if available use a mandolin). Toss the fennel with the lemon juice, fennel tops, olive oil, salt and half the apple. Leave in the fridge to soften for about half an hour. Keep the other half of the apple aside in the fridge.

Warm up a frying pan medium hot. Add the olive oil to the pan. Season the mackerel with salt and pepper. Place the mackerel, skin side down in the pan and carefully push it down to prevent the fish from curling up. Turn the fish after 3 minutes and cook it for another minute flesh side down.

Place a bit of the fennel in the middle of a plate. Put some apple sticks and dill around the fennel salad and drizzle with a bit of the lime oil. Scatter the poppy seeds over the apple. Place the mackerel on top of the fennel salad.

Khao Niaw (Sticky Rice)

Often the last thing people in the North and Northeast of Thailand do before bed is put raw grains of sticky rice in a pot, cover them with water, and leave them to soak. This is sticky rice country, and a day without sticky rice is almost unthinkable.

Also called glutinous rice, it has a different starch composition than varieties like jasmine. I'm not qualified to explain the world of amylopectin and amylose starches, so suffice it to say that the glossy cooked grains of sticky rice are particularly chewy and stick to one another in clumps, yet still remain distinct. It's a magical thing. Served in baskets, either one per person or as a mountainous mound to be passed around, the grains of sticky rice form moldable masses. Practiced diners snatch off a gumball-size piece, reflexively fashion it into a sort of spoon shape, and use it to grab a taste of whatever else is on the table. In these baskets or in bamboo tubes, workers carry this rice with them into the fields and forests, a portable, edible eating implement.

While you could argue that so-called "steamed jasmine rice" isn't steamed at all but rather boiled, sticky rice is actually steamed. In the Northeast, it typically goes into a bamboo basket in the North, it's traditionally prepared in a clay pot with a perforated bottom, though today the pot is often aluminum. The basket or pot is set over a pot-bellied vessel filled with boiling water and the steam cooks the grains, already swollen from soaking, in just 15 minutes or so. The process is easy enough for uninitiated cooks. It just takes a little practice to get right.

Watch the video: Brilliant Baked Mackerel with Donal Skehan (August 2022).