Mackerel with gooseberries, pickled onions and salad

Gooseberries cut through the richness of this oily fish and using a blow torch to cook it is extremely fast, convenient and enhances the flavour.

Equipment and preparation: for this recipe you will need a large sterilised jar with a lid and a silicone mat.


For the mackerel
  • 2 whole mackerel, filleted and pin boned
  • 6 pickled onions, thinly sliced
For the gooseberry chutney
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2½cm/1in piece fresh root ginger, peeled and shredded
  • 1 tbsp soft brown sugar
  • 500g/1lb 2oz gooseberries
  • generous dash of ginger wine or cordial
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1-2 sprigs thyme, leaves picked and chopped
To serve
  • 2 baby onions, trimmed and sliced
  • 200g/7oz crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp fresh chives

Preparation method

  1. For the mackerel, place mackerel fillets on a baking tray and lay the pickled onions over the top. Use a chef’s blow torch to cook the fish and onions. Alternatively cook under a very hot grill for 2-3 minutes.

  2. For the gooseberry chutney, heat the olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan. Add in the onion and fry gently until softened, approximately three minutes. Then add in the ginger and sprinkle over the sugar.

  3. Cook gently, stirring often, for two minutes. Add the gooseberries and the ginger wine or cordial. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes, stirring now and then until the mixture has thickened into a chutney.

  4. Stir in the fennel seeds and thyme leaves in the final minutes of cooking. Transfer the hot chutney into a warm, sterilised jar. Cool and seal the lid.

  5. To serve, place the mackerel on serving plates and serve with the chutney and a few slices of baby onions. Mix the chives and crème fraîche and serve alongside.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Less than 30 mins preparation time

10 to 30 mins cooking time

Serves 2

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