Available wild-caught, it is a marine fish found in open waters and near reefs over the continental shelf around the northern half of Australia from Port Macquarie (NSW) to Shark Bay (WA). It’s caught off Queensland by surround nets, gillnets and trolling as well as off the NT and WA.
Juveniles are found in estuaries and near the coast and caught in nets or on lines. It has dark vertical stripes on its side similar to Spanish Mackerel, especially when young, but once the fish is caught these fade quickly to a silvery-grey.
Broad-barred Mackerel, Spanish Mackerel, Tiger Mackerel.
Available year round with peaks in NSW from July to August.
Size and Weight
Commonly 1.3-2.7kg and up to 90cm, but can grow to 10kg and 120cm.
Mackerels (Blue, Frigate, School, Shark, Spanish, Spotted), Bonito, Tunas.
Sold mainly as cutlets and steaks. In cutlets and steaks look for bright pinkish-red, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any dark brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.
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.
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.
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.
Other Mackerels, Bonito, Striped Marlin, Swordfish, Tunas.
Moroccan-style Grey Mackerel with Garlic & Yoghurt Sauce
Char-grilled Fish Kebabs
Kokoda (Fijian Raw Fish Salad)
Spanish Mackerel Cutlets with Warm Lentil & Preserved Lemon Salad