Sweet and Sour Mackerel

Mackerel takes on a delicious sweet and sour flavour in Mitch Tonks's simple but stylish recipe
By Mitch Tonks
Sweet and Sour Mackerel
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 2½cm fresh ginger, finely sliced
  • 1 tsp white peppercorns
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1 carrot, finely sliced
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 200 ml white wine vinegar
  • 6 tbsp caster sugar
  • 50 ml water
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 mackerel, filleted
  • salt, and freshly ground pepper
  • flour, for dusting
  • vegetable oil, for shallow-frying
  • sprigs coriander, to garnish


1. Put the ginger, white peppercorns, star anise, celery, carrot, shallots and white wine vinegar in a pan along with the sugar, water and balsamic vinegar.

2. Bring to the boil and simmer for 4-5 minutes.

3. Set aside for 10 minutes to infuse. Check the balance of sweet and sour and adjust to taste with vinegar or sugar.

4. Dust the mackerel fillets with flour and season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

5. Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan. Fry the mackerel skin side-down for 2-3 minutes, until the skin turns a light golden brown, then turn the fillets over and fry for 2-3 more minutes.

6. Place the fish on a serving plate and spoon over some of the sweet and sour sauce and the vegetables.

7. Garnish with coriander and serve.

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