Most foods are reported as good or bad for different things at different times. But not this one. Oily fish is on everyone’s hit list of things they don’t eat frequently enough and mackerel should be right up there. Not only is it a gift from the gods of nutrition, but also comes with a complete set of girl guide badges: Local, sustainable, good value for money, easy to prepare and versatile.
Along with a few others (perhaps home grown blackcurrants? foraged garlic?) I would suggest that it would in fact qualify as a super-DUPER-food.
So with everything mackerel has going for it, why do so many of us find it hard to add it to our weekly diet? Fear of bones? Distaste of ‘fishiness’ (yes, you, Jamie)? Or a lack of confidence in preparation? Whichever it is, here are some easy, bone-free, not too ‘fishy’ dishes that might inspire you to add this little food wonder to your weekly shop.
1. Superfood Salad
Add some chunks to your superfood salad. This is a great use for the vacuum packed pre cooked fillets. They now come in a range of flavourings worth experimenting with and as they are already cooked and store in the fridge for a while, they are a great protein back up. It works particularly well with beetroot or sweet potato.
2. Easy Mackerel Pate
Sounds odd, but whizz up (nutribullet works well) a tin of mackerel in sunflower oil (undrained) with the same amount of cottage cheese, season it, maybe add a few herbs, squash it into a little dish, refrigerate it and after a couple of hours you have a healthy mackerel pate. Honestly. It works. And once you realise how amazing this is – you can add all sorts of things, horseradish, lemon, chilli…
3. Crispy Thai Mackerel.
This is a great, modern, tasty way to eat mackerel, which will have even the fish-phobics wanting more. Raw mackerel can be bought ready filleted at your supermarket or fishmonger. And mixed with these fresh strong flavours – it really isn’t too fishy!
Crispy Thai Mackerel (for two people)
- 2 x Fresh Mackerel fillets
- 1 chilli, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely grated
- 1 tsp of ground ginger
- 1 limes, zest and juice
- 4 tbsps toasted sesame oil
- 4 tbsps soy sauce
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey
Whisk up all the ingredients, except the fish. No cooking required!
Fry the fish in a little oil on a high heat for a few minutes each side. Making sure that the skin side gets really crispy.
Cover the fish in the sauce, alongside some stir fried veggies, rice or a salad.
Message from Jamie: I am by far the biggest fish wuss going. Anything remotely fishy and I’m already out the door so the idea of trying Mackerel was tough. The PT side of me knowing all the healthy benefits of eating more omega-3 fats wanted to like it but the other half (normal Jamie) wanted nothing to do with it. Cutting a long story short: I really did enjoy it! The truth is we really don’t know what we like and don’t like until we actually go and try it! The more options I have in the kitchen the more exciting and more enjoyment I get from my food, simples!