Grilled Mackerel Recipes | How to Cook Mackerel

Grilled Mackerel Recipes | How to Cook Mackerel

Grilled Mackerel is my favourite way to go when handling this shiny slither of the sea.

How to cook mackerel is a common question, and the truth is; cooking mackerel couldn’t be easier. For me, a great mackerel recipe is a short mackerel recipe. My favourite is grilled mackerel served with a drizzle of ass-kicking lemon garlic dressing. Do. No. More.

Grilled mackerel is delicious – especially cooked on the BBQ, but if the weather is rubbish then cooked under a super hot grill works just as well (which is how I cooked the one in my photo).

Mackerel is packed with essential oils and is very healthy; I’m sure some marketing expert will call it a super-food at some point. It does contain a lot of oils and can have a ‘fish’ flavour (I know.. don’t even get me started on a fish having a fish flavour…) a sharp dressing compliments the mackerel exceptionally well.

The marriage of sharp and fat is a long standing one, think; lamb and mint sauce, olive oil and vinegar, oily fish and capers, you get the picture.

For my mackerel recipe then, I make a really feisty lemon garlic dressing that is drizzled liberally over the top of the grilled mackerel.

Talking of mackerel, it is a precious little thing and quite needy.

You’ve got to use it fresh, as fresh as you can possibly get. And don’t even think about freezing mackerel. I don’t know the scientific reasoning behind it (although I suspect it is something to do with the high oil content of the fish) but it doesn’t like to be frozen; it seems to accentuate the ‘fish’ taste.

Buy it fresh and cook it the same day. If you do, you will be rewarded with a wonderful tasting mackerel, that is still very cheap to buy.

So, how do you cook mackerel? Fast and simple is how.

Fillet the mackerel (or ask the fishmonger or supermarket deli counter person to fillet the mackerel for you), I quite like to butterfly mine and leave the head on – as I like the showmanship of serving it like. But if you haven’t got a ridiculous exhibitionist character trait then a simple fillet will suffice.

The secret of this mackerel recipe is all in the dressing; respect the mackerel and don’t muck about with it but make the lemon garlic dressing as punchy as you can and drizzle it liberally over your beautiful fish.

Here’s my grilled mackerel recipe.

PS. Make the dressing in advance and you can use this again and again for another week

Grilled Mackerel Recipe

Goes well with potato salad and a dry white wine extra cold!

Grilled Mackerel Recipe

19th February 2016
: 2
: 5 min
: 5 min
: 10 min
: easy

Grilled Mackerel Recipe simply done with a lemon and garlic dressing


  • 2 mackerel
  • Lemon Garlic Dressing Ingredients:
  • 1 cloves garlic crushed
  • Juice 2 lemons
  • Equal amount of Extra Virgin Olive oil as lemon juice
  • Tsp Salt
  • Few grinds black pepper
  • Tbsp dried oregano
  • 30g (or a handful) chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp malt vinegar
  • (if you're cooking pork or lamb my other lemon garlic dressing with Rosemary is wonderful..)
  • Step 1 First make the lemon garlic dressing – put all dressing ingredients together in a jar, close the lid and shake it baby!
  • Step 2 Have the mackerel fillets cleaned by your fishmonger
  • Step 3 Lightly oil each mackerel fillet and sprinkle a little salt over the skin side.
  • Step 4 Place each mackerel under the grill on a high heat for 3 minutes or until the skin starts to crisp and bubble.
  • Step 5 Turn the mackerel over and leave under the grill for 1 minute more maximum, then remove your grilled mackerel.
  • Step 6 Spoon over a tablespoon or two of the lemon vinaigrette and serve.

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