Seafood Foraging Part V: Mackerel

The mackerel are not an episode in this story detailing encounters with parts of the sea and the surrounding plat life; the mackerel are here throughout. They embedded themselves, hooks and scales and sharp skeletons and all in my summer in Cornwall. We fry them, bake them, mash them with lemons, cake them in breadcrumbs, and give them to our friends. Sometimes we are tired of mackerel but their taste is so intense, delicious and adaptable.

One evening I tried to recreate a monkfish curry I tasted a few weeks before (explored in this story), replacing he monkfish with salty mackerel. Marinated in bay leaves from the garden, coriander seeds, black pepper, and mustard and fried with peppers, tossed with coconut milk and poured over rice it was fragrant and sweet.


2 filleted, deboned fresh mackerel

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 inch grated ginger

2 tsp mustard (Dijon will work. I used a seaweed mustard from Dournenez just because I had some left over)

8 bay leaves (or curry leaves)

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp coriander seeds

2 chopped peppers (capsicum)

1 red onion (diced)

4 cloves of garlic (finely crushed)

3 tbsp olive oil

Handful fresh coriander (chopped)


  1. To make the marinade: mix the spices, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, ginger and bay leaves together with the mustard
  2. Roll the mackerel in the mixture and set it in the fridge for an hour or two to soak up the flavours
  3. In a large pot fry the red pepper and onions in olive oil over medium-high heat
  4. Add the garlic
  5. Pour the coconut milk into the mix and stir together
  6. Add the marinated mackerel and leftover marinade to the mix and cook until the fish is cooked white all the way through
  7. To serve: pour over rice and sprinkle with fresh coriander leaves

Author: Zip

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