Grilled Mackerel Fillet with Lemon Chilli Relish

Sophie Grigson rustles up a fabulous fish supper of golden grilled mackerel and a lip smacking lemon and chilli dressing
By Sophie Grigson
Grilled Mackerel Fillet with Lemon Chilli Relish
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the relish

  • 2 lemons
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, coarsely crushed
  • 0.5 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 red chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • 2 plum tomatoes

For the fish

  • 4 mackerel, filleted
  • 1 lemons, quartered
  • 5 tbsp olive oil, or sunflower oil
  • 1 pinches black pepper


1. First make the relish. Slice the lemons very thinly with a sharp knife, discarding the ends and saving all the juice that is squeezed out as you cut.

2. Lay the lemon slices in a shallow dish in a single layer and pour over enough boiling water to just cover. Let it stand for 3 minutes (to infuse), then drain.

3. Repeat with a new lot of boiling water, leave to stand for another 3 minutes, and then drain again. Cut the lemon slices into quarters.

4. Put the sugar into a saucepan with 6 tablespoons water. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon quarters, the saved lemon juice, the spices and the chilli.

5. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the liquid is very syrupy and the lemon rind is translucent and tender.

6. Take off the heat and stir in the tomato. Leave to cool.

7. To cook the mackerel, pre-heat the grill and cover the grill rack with a sheet of kitchen foil (so that the mackerel won't stick to the bars). Brush the foil with a little oil.

8. Season the cut sides of the fillets with salt and pepper. Lay them, cut-sides down, skin upwards on the foil and brush the skins lightly with oil.

9. Grill until golden brown, and then turn the fillets over. The heat of the grill will probably have been enough to cook the fillets right through already, but if they look a touch raw, grill for another minute or two, cut-sides up.

10. As soon as the mackerel fillets are cooked, serve with the lemon chilli relish.

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