Beer battered mackerel with pickled vegetables

Jun Tanakas light and crisp spiced beer batter gives deep-fried mackerel a fantastic flavor and texture
By Jun Tanaka
Beer battered mackerel with pickled vegetables
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 1-2
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the beer batter

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • 100 g self-raising flour
  • 285 ml beer

For the pickled vegetables

  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 carrot, very finely sliced
  • 1 banana shallot, very thinly sliced
  • 1 fennel, tops only, very thinly sliced
  • 1 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced
  • pinches saffron, threads
  • splashes white wine vinegar
  • sprigs tarragon

For the mackerel

  • vegetable oil, for deep fat frying
  • 2 mackerel fillets
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • fennel, fronds


1. For the beer batter: grind the fennel seeds, coriander seeds and star anise in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder then mix in with the flour.

2. Slowly pour in the beer, mixing with a fork, until you have a thick batter the consistency of double cream (you may not need to use all the beer). Dont worry if the batter has some lumps at this stage.

3. For the pickled vegetables: grind the coriander seeds, fennel seeds and star anise in the pestle and mortar or spice grinder.

4. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, tip in the carrots, shallots, fennel tops and garlic and season with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle over the saffron threads and ground spices and fry for 3-4 minutes.

5. Add a splash of vinegar and the tarragon and cook for 1-2 minutes then set aside and keep warm.

6. For the mackerel: heat the oil in a deep fat fryer. Dust the mackerel fillets in the flour, shake off any excess then dip into the batter. Hold them above the batter for a few seconds, allowing any excess to drip off, then carefully lower into the hot oil and fry until crisp and golden.

7. Remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper.

8. Serve the pickled vegetables with the fish on top and garnish with fennel fronds.

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