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Quick-fried mackerel fillets with garlic and bay
Quick-fried mackerel fillets with garlic and bay
added by River Cottage Fish

This is perhaps the simplest way to enjoy a catch of fresh mackerel when you get home, tired but elated after a few good hours at sea. It’s super-quick and very family friendly.

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Prep time
  • 5 minutes
Cook Time
  • 5 minutes
Servings
  • 1 mackerel per person
Ingredients
  • Fresh mackerel, 1 per person
  • Olive oil
  • A few garlic cloves, thickly sliced
  • A few bay leaves, roughly torn
  • ½ lemon
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
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Directions

Cut the fillets from either side of the mackerel, bait-cutter style (see pages 62–3).
Season them with a little salt and pepper.

Put a large frying pan over a medium heat and add a thin film of olive oil. When
the oil is fairly hot, scatter in the garlic and bay leaves, then lay the mackerel
fillets over them, skin side down. You’re looking for a gentle sizzle rather than a
fierce flash-fry.

As it cooks, the mackerel flesh will change from translucent pink
to opaque white. When the fillets are almost completely white, turn them over for
just a minute to finish cooking. The whole process won’t take longer than
5 minutes.

Let the garlic and bay just sizzle in the oil under and next to the fish,
flavouring it gently.

Lift the mackerel fillets from the pan, leaving the bay and garlic behind (they’re
probably just starting to burn a bit). Give the fillets a squeeze of lemon juice and
serve straight away, with salad (a sliced tomato salad is delicious with mackerel)
and either new potatoes or buttered bread.

2 replies
Replied on

I've grown up eating mackerel it's a fantastic fish to eat. Tried this recipe tonight for the first time and I'll be doing it again, it's so nice. I was out of garlic so used garlic oil and bay leaves worked really well :)

Replied on

Gorgeous!!! I've never ever cooked fresh fish, didn't even know how to cut it :)) but I followed these directions and it came out really nice. Am definitely doing this again. Thanks!

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