Pickled Mackerel Recipe with Verjus

Verjus-pickled mackerel

  • serves 4
  • Easy

Verjus is made from pressed, unripe, green grapes and is a really versatile ingredient. Try it in this recipe for verjus-pickled mackerel from Tom Brown, head chef at Nathan Outlaw's The Capital in Knightsbridge



  • mackerel 4 fillets, pin-boned
  • rapeseed oil 1 tbsp
  • cucumber ½, peeled, seeded and diced
  • dill sprigs to serve


  • verjus 250ml
  • white peppercorns 1 tsp
  • coriander seeds 2 tsp
  • bay leaves 2
  • shallots 2, finely sliced
  • garlic 2 cloves, crushed
  • green chilli 1, seeded and chopped
  • golden caster sugar 100g


  • creamed horseradish 1 tsp
  • thick greek yogurt 6 tbsp


  • vegetable oil 250ml
  • dill a bunch


  • red grapes 4, thinly sliced
  • silverskin pickled onions 4, halved


  • Step 1

    Heat all the pickle ingredients in a pan with 2 tsp salt and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the liquid from the heat and let it cool to room temperature. Put the mackerel fillets, skin-side down in a shallow dish and pour over the pickle. Clingfilm the surface of the mackerel to ensure they are submerged in the liquid. Put in the fridge for 24 hours.

  • Step 2

    To make the horseradish yogurt, mix the ingredients with a pinch of salt. Put into a small piping bag and chill until ready to serve. Whizz the vegetable oil with the bunch of dill and a pinch of salt in a blender or liquidiser, then strain through muslin or a clean J-cloth, reserving the green oil. It will keep, covered, in the fridge, for a week.

  • Step 3

    Let the fish and marinade come to room temperature 1 hour before you serve. Remove the mackerel fillets and pat dry with kitchen paper. Strain the leftover pickling liquid. Whisk 50ml of the strained liquid with 1 tbsp rapeseed oil to make a dressing. Add the cucumber and season.

  • Step 4

    Pipe a few blobs of the yogurt onto 4 plates, and sit the mackerel fillets on top, skin-side up. Drizzle over the dressing with a few cucumber pieces, grape slices and pickled onion halves. Add a little dill oil and a few dill sprigs. Serve with a simple salad or crusty bread.

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

Dab Fish Recipe With Vinegar Butter

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 432
  • Fat 35.6g
  • Saturates 8.8g
  • Carbs 7.5g
  • Sugars 7.1g
  • Protein 20.2g
  • Salt 0.8g