Mackerel are a great tasty fish, packed with Omega 3, that are often cheaply priced if you can find them fresh or frozen at a fishmonger. These lovely fishies were only NZ$1.30 / USD$0.95 each. They can be served whole to adults for a fancy and filling meal or picked off the bones to serve to toddlers (do be careful to remove the little bones as well as the spine before giving to little ones!).
- Whole mackerel
- Neutral oil (like Rice bran oil)
- Crushed garlic
- Optional: Cider
- Fresh basil (finely chopped)
- Fresh lemon
Allergy: soy free, dairy free, gluten free, peanut free, treenut free.
- Make sure the fish have been well gutted and descaled; sometimes the fishmonger won’t have done a perfect job and you might need to do a bit more cleaning at home. Don’t worry too much if there are a few scales that are hard to get off – they peel off easily once the fish is cooked (just remember to remove before serving!).
- Clean the fish thoroughly in cold water and pat down with salt (inside and out). Don’t use too much salt as you don’t want to over salt the dish.
- Using a sharp knife slice several slits along both sides of the fish.
- Mix up the marinade (oil, garlic, basil, thyme, oregano, and cider if you have it). Brush over the fish (inside and out) and pour into the pan.
- Cut up a fresh lemon. Make some thin wedges to put into the slits on the fish and some slices to put inside the cavity.
- Cover fish and marinade in the fridge for a couple of hours if you have the time.
- Preheat the oven to 200’C and bake the fish. Cooking time will depend on the size/thickness of the fish; these took about 20-25 minutes. Keeping the liquid in the pan helps the fish to cook quicker as it’s effectively braising.
- If desired, you can flip the fish over after about 10 minutes. You can also grill for a few minutes at the end if you’d like crispier skin.