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How to make pickled mackerel

How to make pickled mackerel


  • Easy
  • 35 minutes
  • For 4 people
  • 2.3 € / person
  • 225kcal per 100g.

How to make pickled mackerel .

This fish recipe is one of the recipes that I have fallen in love with at first, very tasty mackerel in a very simple recipe and that is useful for many preparations.

The seasonal proposal that I present today is a cheap dish, not very complicated and a little different from what I am used to.

The cooking technique is pickled and the main ingredient is mackerel , known as mackerel or xarda , it is a blue fish similar to verdel. 

A very tasty, nutritious and healthy fish since it has many omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and proteins.

The good weather begins and I am a fan of pickles, on the blog if you neglect, I pickle you.

From the classic pickled game such as partridges or quail , to the traditional anchovies in vinegar , the Galician mussels in pickles and through the vegetable pickles, artichokes or aubergines .

I find any time of the year, not only in good weather, an occasion to enjoy the technique that was once used to preserve food.

A preparation that I have very refined, because we have achieved the canonical proportions (of home taste) using only a third of vinegar than oil.

If you like a pickle more acid, add a little more. In anchovies or anchovies in vinegar it seems to me that they win with a high point of vinegar.

Mackerel is tasty, delicate, cheap, and delicious. You can add citrus aromas to the marinade using lemon, orange, tangerine or lime. They are fun, acidic hints of vinegar that triumph in our marinated sardines .

I hope that if you like mackerel as much as I do or encourage you to pickle them at home. The result of a common salad with a slice of pickled mackerel is heaven on earth.

Mackerel cleaning

  1. The most important thing in this recipe is the quality of the raw material you use. Mackerels must be very fresh.
  2. I usually trust 100% of my fishmonger who usually asks me how I want them and what recipe I will prepare with them.
  3. The cleaning part is the most laborious job. If you do not have a fishmonger, you should clean them at home, it is best to do it in the sink under a stream of very cold water.
  4. For my taste, mackerels have  a lot of thorns,  but the work is worth it. Leave the hard work for the fishmonger and the recipe will have no complications.
  5. They should prepare the mackerel in 2, in fillets. Once at home we clean well of blood and put on top of an absorbent paper.
  6. Dry well by pressing on top with more paper. So we will have it ready for the pickling. We reserve.
  7. The cleaning process is essential for a good final result.
  8. Freeze in an airtight pan or lid for 48 hours to avoid possible  anisakis .
  9. Thaw and continue with the preparation of the recipe.

Preparation of mackerel and vegetables. Before pickling

  1. Season and lightly flour the mackerel fillets.
  2. We put a little extra virgin olive oil in a pan. We make them over low heat in a frying pan with a bottom of extra virgin olive oil.
  3. Only on the side of the skin, for one minute and 15 seconds on the part of the back seen. We reserve on a plate to then pickle.
  4. In the same oil and frying pan in which we have made the mackerel we are going to fry the onion and the leek that we have cut into julienne strips.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes, add the peeled and rolled garlic cloves. Sauté with the onion.
  6. Finally the sliced ​​carrots and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes. We reserve on another plate.
  7. We put the vegetables as a bed in a casserole, platter, tupper or container where we are going to make the pickle.
  8. We place the mackerel loins (which we have reserved on a plate) with the skin down on top of the onion, leek, garlic and carrot bed.

Preparation of pickled mackerel

  1. We wash the lemon and half a mandarin. Grate without reaching the white part and add above the mackerel.
  2. We put a bay leaf and add the extra soft virgin olive oil and vinegar.
  3. I always like to pickle by covering in half and cook over low heat for 15 minutes, if a little more liquid is needed to cover, add a little water.
  4. Let cool and rest before placing them in a cool place or in the fridge.

It is better to prepare these types of pickles the day before, so the pickle will rest for at least 12 hours. I recommend you eat them the next day without a doubt and at room temperature.

Be sure to see all the step by step photos of this recipe for pickled mackerel .

Tips for yummy pickled mackerels

  • It is important that you buy the fish just the day you are going to use it, so that it is as fresh as possible.
  • Plan the cooking if you are going to freeze the mackerel for the possible anisakis .
  • Each pickle is a world and to the taste of each house, there is no one like it. What is perfect for one is too strong or soft for another. So until you find the right point, try, compare now for your perfect pickle. While I advise you my measurements, which are the ones you like at home.
  • Don’t skimp on the quality of the ingredients, use a good wine vinegar and a good extra virgin olive oil. Make your own blend of aromatic herbs, and you will certainly not fail.
  • If you are lazy or you don’t dare, the other option is to freeze. Do not forget to label with date and ingredient and of course defrost in the fridge the day before consuming.

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