Mackerel Recipe with Chia Seeds, Dill and Cucumber

Charred mackerel, chia seeds, dill, wakame and cucumber

  • serves 4 as a starter
  • A little effort

This Japanese-inspired mackerel starter of charred mackerel, chia seeds, dill, wakame and cucumber from The Manor in Clapham is packed with fresh, on-trend flavours – perfect for entertaining



  • mackerel fillets 4, pin boned
  • nori 3 small sheets
  • sea salt flakes 50g
  • caster sugar 25g
  • chia seeds 20g
  • apple juice 200ml  
  • spirulina ½ tsp
  • lemon juice 50ml, plus a little for seasoning
  • white or regular soy sauce or wakame seaweed 10g
  • oil for deep frying
  • dill sprigs to serve


  • cucumbers 2 small
  • white vinegar 50ml
  • caster sugar 30g
  • salt 10g


  • Step 1

    Cut the mackerel fillets, lengthways, from the head end to the tail so you’re left with 1 silver belly fillet and 1 striped topside fillet from each. Put the nori in a food processor and blend until you have a fine powder, then add the sea salt and sugar and blend again. Lay the fish flesh-side up on a tray and sprinkle over the nori salt. Leave it for 7 minutes and then rinse the fillets, drain and chill skin-side up on a lightly oiled baking tray.

  • Step 2

    Mix the chia seeds with 100ml apple juice and stir in the spirulina. Leave until the liquid is absorbed and then stir in more juice, a little at a time, letting each amount be absorbed and making sure there are no lumps. Once the seeds have swollen and are soft, season the mixture with lemon juice and soy.

  • Step 3

    Peel the cucumbers and cut one into ½ cm thick slices, and the other into long thin batons. Put the remaining ingredients in a pan with 400ml water and bring to the boil. Add the cucumbers and cool.

  • Step 4

    Heat a pan with some oil in it (no more than 1/3 full) until it is 170C. Fry the wakame until it starts to pop and expand, about 10-20 seconds, then scoop it out and drain it on kitchen paper.

  • Step 5

    Blowtorch the fillets all over using a fierce flame, till they start to bubble and get black spots on the skin, or use a very hot grill to blister the skins. The fish should be just cooked. Mix the soy and lemon juice and sprinkle it over. Blowtorch the cucumber strips.

  • Step 6

    To serve, spoon the chia seeds into 4 shallow bowls, add 2 discs and a strip of cucumber to each and add some dill. Add a belly and top fillet to each dish and sprinkle over the fried wakame.

Check out more of our best fish recipes here...

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Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 302
  • Fat 20.1g
  • Saturates 3.7g
  • Carbs 7.9g
  • Fibre 3.7g
  • Protein 20.7g
  • Salt 4.1g