Jamie Oliver’s Fresh Mackerel Cooked in Pomegranate, Lime Juice and Tequila


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Around the World in 80 Dishes: Classic Recipes from the World's Favourite Chefs

Around the World in 80 Dishes

By David Loftus

Published 2012

  • About


  • 275ml/½pint white wine vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • 1 large mackerel, cleaned, pin-boned and filleted into 2 fillets
  • 3 ripe pomegranates
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 2 shots of tequila
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 bulbs of fennel, finely sliced
  • Extra virgin olive oil


Put the vinegar into a pan with a heaped teaspoon of sea salt and heat until lukewarm, then remove from the heat. Put the mackerel fillets into a tight-fitting dish and cover with the vinegar. Set aside for the next 7 hours… Yes, so start early! When the time is up, drain off the vinegar and set the fish aside while you make a second bath for them as follows.

Juice 2 of the pomegranates by squeezing them into a sieve placed over a bowl. Prepare to work every last drop from the pips (and get covered in sticky ruby juices). When that’s ready, add the lime juice, tequila, sesame oil and ginger.

Place the mackerel fillets in a dish with half the juice mixture, turning them to make sure both sides of the fish are covered, and allow them to sit for 30 minutes. This will ‘cold cook’ the fish.

Drain the mackerel and pat it dry. Slice the fish as thin as you like, and arrange on a serving plate. Make a salad with the finely sliced fennel and the seeds from the third pomegranate, and place on top of the mackerel. Pour over the other half of the juice mixture, and serve with a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil.