Soused Blue Mackerel

Recipes | Brunch | Curing & Pickling | Marinating | Sandwiches Serves 8 as an entrée Soused Blue Mackerel

Mackerel, like Herring, is often pickled or ‘soused’ in Europe. This dish can be eaten hot or cold and if you don’t want to make the potato salad, just serve with dark bread, butter, cornichons and pickled onions.


8 x 100g Blue Mackerel fillets, skin on, bones removed
Salt flakes, to taste 
2 bay leaves, torn
2 small dried red chillies, broken 
2 strips lemon zest
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
300ml cider vinegar
300ml water
Dark bread, to serve
Cornichons and pickled onions, to serve

Potato Salad
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt flakes
⅓ cup crème fraîche or sour cream
400g kipfler potatoes, boiled and peeled
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
¼ cup sliced cornichons


Preheat oven to 160ºC.

Sprinkle flesh side of fillets well with salt, then roll them up, skin side out, and skewer each one with a large toothpick. 

Stand them up in a small, non-reactive ovenproof dish and poke bay leaves, chillies and lemon zest among the fillets, scatter with onion, peppercorns, mustard and fennel seeds. Combine vinegar and water and pour over the fish to just cover, adding a little more vinegar and water in equal quantities if necessary. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and leave to cool in the cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, make Potato Salad: beat mustard and salt into crème fraîche and combine with remaining ingredients.

Drain fish and serve at room temperature with Potato Salad, dark bread, cornichons and pickled onions.

Alternative species:

Australian Herring, Australian Sardine, Anchovy, Jack Mackerel, Sandy Sprat, Yellowtail Scad.

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