Spotted Mackerel

Scomberomorus munroi

Other names: Spotty.

Family: Scombridae (mackerels).

Description:

Available wild-caught, it is a marine fish schooling in open waters and sometimes moving in to inshore bays and estuaries. Similar to School mackerel but with smaller spots, it is found around most of Australia, except the southern coast from Bunbury (WA) to Newcastle (NSW), and caught mainly off Queensland by trolling and line fishing near reefs.

Season: Available year round.

Size and Weight: Commonly 1.6-4kg and 50-80cm, but can grow to about 10kg and 104cm.

Price: Medium priced.

Relations:

Mackerels (Blue, Frigate, Grey, School, Shark, Spanish), Bonito, Tunas.

To Buy:

Sold mainly as cutlets and steaks. In cutlets and steaks look for bright cream-coloured, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any dark brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.

To Store:

Make sure whole fish is scaled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Wrap whole fish, fillets and cutlets in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 2 days (it is best eaten as fresh as possible) or freeze for up to 3 months below -18ºC.

To Cook:

Average yield is 40%. Has a strong, distinctly ‘fishy’ flavour, medium to very high oiliness and medium-dry, firm flesh. Usually sold skinned, it has few bones, which are easily removed. Score thick fillets at the thickest part of the flesh to allow even heat penetration.

Cooking Methods:

Pan-fry, bake, grill, barbecue, smoke, pickle.

Goes well with:

Strong flavours, bay, basil, citrus, curry, garlic, mustard, onion, oregano, pepper, red wine, tomatoes, vinegar.

Alternatives:

Other Mackerels, Bonito, Striped Marlin, Swordfish, Tunas.

Imports:

None, though Spanish, Atlantic (Scomber scrombus), and occasionally Chub (Scomber japonicus), Mackerels are imported frozen, whole and in fillets, smoked and canned in various forms (such as rollmops).

Recipes:

Char-grilled Fish Kebabs > 
Kokoda (Fijian Raw Fish Salad) >
Moroccan-style Grey Mackerel with Garlic & Yoghurt Sauce >
Spanish Mackerel Cutlets with Warm Lentil & Preserved Lemon Salad >