Mackerel is a firm-fleshed, oil-rich, strong flavoured fish. It is also beautiful with a torpedo-like shape and iridescent silver and blue striped skin. It has an intense creamy flavoured meat which is packed with omega 3 fatty acids so is a very nutritious, healthy choice.
Mackerel is cheap to buy and very versatile; it can be grilled, fried, barbecued or poached. Because of its creamy taste it works well with strong, spicy flavours. Look out for smoked mackerel which is delicious simply torn into salads, mixed with crème fraiche and lemon juice to make pate or with potato to make fish cakes.
Most mackerel is caught using pelagic trawls which are associated with cetacean (whale and dolphin) bycatch. Smaller landing are also taken by purse seine fishing in the summer and early autumn; purse seining is an aggressive form of fishing in which one boat can catch up to 1,800 tons of fish a week, however it can be very selective with the right mesh size and shoal identification methods so involves little bycatch.
By far the best option is to look for UK line caught mackerel, a fantastic sustainable option! There is plenty of MSC certified mackerel knocking about on the supermarket shelves so keep your eyes peeled for that little blue label!
Use whole fish, heads off for ease.
A glass of something like a super chilled Riesling is best to cut through the oiliness - a Sauvignon Blanc would be awesome too!
You can also do this with a clutch of mackerel and do this dish as a sharing platter too.