How to make quick cured mackerel (plus recipe)
- Preparation and cooking time
- Total time
- + curing
- Serves 2
- 2 large fillets mackerel
- 75g fine sea salt
- 75g caster sugar
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds, toasted and ground
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds, toasted and ground
- 1 bulb fennel, very thinly sliced, fronds reserved
- 1 blood orange
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp sherry vinegar
- a pinch sugar
- 1 tsp pumpkin seeds, toasted, to serve
- STEP 1
Lay each mackerel fillet on a chopping board, skin-side up. At one of the corners of the thick end of the fillet, tease away the top membrane using your finger. Imagine you are teasing the back of a sticker up, starting from the corner. Once you’ve got enough to pinch between your fingers, peel down gently towards the tail. Repeat with the other fillet. Turn the fillets over and, using a sharp knife, cut vertically down each fillet, a couple of millimetres either side of the central line of bones, creating 4 bone-free fillets.
- STEP 2
In a bowl, mix the fine sea salt, sugar and ground fennel seeds and coriander seeds.
- STEP 3
Sprinkle ¼ of this mix into a baking dish, lay the mackerel fillets, skin-side down, on top and cover with the remaining cure mix. Cover and chill for 1 hour.
- STEP 4
Put the sliced fennel in a bowl of iced water for 10 minutes. Segment the orange over a bowl, catching any juice and the segmented orange pieces. Add the olive oil, sherry vinegar, seasoning and the sugar and stir gently.
- STEP 5
Remove the mackerel from the cure and wash under gently running cold water. Pat dry with kitchen paper.
- STEP 6
Put the mackerel fillets on another clean baking tray, skin-side up, and blowtorch until the skin is blistered and crisp. Alternatively, heat the grill to high and grill the fillets for 1 minute – but keep an eye on them!
- STEP 7
Strain the fennel and toss it through the orange segments. Serve next to the mackerel fillets with a drizzle of dressing, a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds and a scattering of fennel fronds.