Fillet of mackerel, shaved fennel salad and soy lime glaze

Recipe from Kitchen Secrets by Raymond Blanc.

Mackerel is one of the most plentiful species of fish in our seas; it is also inexpensive and delicious. It can be prepared in many ways – as sushi, pickled, smoked, barbecued, grilled, baked, pan-fried or steamed – but to appreciate this fish at its best it must be very fresh. This little dish has the virtue of being very simple, and it is packed with flavours.

Preparation: 20 mins, plus 2 hours soaking fennel seeds.

Special equipment: Mandolin.

Maquerfennel Salad MAIN IMAGE

Ingredients Required

For the mackerel
4 Mackerel fillets (skin on)
For the glaze
1 tbsp Water
2 tbsp Soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 tbsp Palm sugar or dark muscovado sugar
1 tsp Finely chopped fresh root ginger
1/2 tsp Lime juice
For the fennel salad
150g Fennel bulb, trimmed
15g Rocket leaves
1/4 Lime juice
4 tsp Extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch Sea salt
1 pinch Freshly ground white pepper
1 tsp Fennel seeds, soaked in warm water for 2 hours and toasted in a dry pan *1

Cooking Method

Planning ahead

To lend even more flavour to the fish, pickle it for 20 minutes before you grill it (see variations). In this case, you will need to prepare the pickling liquor a day in advance.

To prepare the fennel

For the salad, remove the core from the fennel, then cut into wafer-thin slices, using a mandolin (*2). Immerse in a bowl of iced water and set aside for 20 minutes (*3).

To prepare the glaze

In a small saucepan, combine the water, soy sauce, sugar, ginger and lime juice. Bring to the boil and let bubble for 10 seconds only (*4), then remove from the heat.

To prepare the mackerel

Check the mackerel for pin bones (*5) and lightly score the skin at 2cm intervals (*6). Preheat your grill to high. Place the mackerel fillets skin side up on a baking tray. Place under the hot grill for 4–5 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets, until the fish is just cooked.

To make the fennel salad

While the mackerel is under the grill, drain the fennel, pat dry in a tea towel and place in a large bowl with the rocket leaves, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil and seasoning (*7). Toss lightly together to combine and sprinkle with the toasted fennel seeds.

To serve

Divide the salad among individual plates and lay the grilled mackerel fillets on top. Spoon the glaze over and around the fish. Serve immediately.


120 154 KS Paperback

Recipe from Kitchen Secrets by Raymond Blanc, published by Bloomsbury.

Recipe © Raymond Blanc 2011.

Photograph © Jean Cazals 2015.