Discover Seafood - Marvellous Mackerel
Mackerel is a beautiful oily fish, famed both for its iridescent, striking skin and its rich, fishy flavour. As an oily fish, mackerel is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, deemed to be good for our hearts, brains and helping to maintain beautiful skin.
Mackerel has a distinctive flavour, a sweet, rich oily flavour that can taste similar to tuna. Whole mackerel comes with lots of bones, but these help to keep the fish moist and retain some of those essential oils.
The Atlantic mackerel is a common and widespread fish around Irish coasts. A favourite with anglers, it is often caught in great numbers during the summer when huge shoals move inshore to feed on vast numbers of herring fry and sand eel. Mackerel is a handsome, streamlined fish, that looks stunning on a plate, and is designed for speed and agility.
Mackerel can be cooked in many different ways, though baking, barbecuing, grilling, and pan-frying are the most common. Mackerel is great in pâté , fishcakes and burgers. And, like all seafood, buy as fresh as possible, if it’s caught on the day of eating it’s beautiful raw in the form of a tartare. Whole mackerel is ideal for baking, roasting or barbecuing and can be stuffed with aromatics and herbs. These methods take longer than cooking fillets – around 20–30 minutes in a medium oven – but they tend to be one-pan recipes so are fuss-free and very flavourful. Arguably the simplest way to cook mackerel is quickly pan-frying the fillets; just remember to remove the pin bones first. Barbecuing is fantastic way to cook mackerel fillets – the high heat gets the skin super-crispy, and the flesh is cooked in no time.
As mackerel carries a stronger taste than some other fish it is often balanced with clean, soft flavours like beetroot or cucumber. Equally well matched are citrusy ingredients like lemons and limes. Mackerel is also well suited to piquant flavours such as chilli, horseradish and capers. Avoid buttery or heavy sauces as these tend to overpower the fish.