Spiced Mackerel with Avocado Mash


The oiliness of mackerel is just great with the subtle taste of avocado - be sure to have some of both in each mouthful. You can either barbecue or grill the fish for this dish. Plain rice and a spinach salad or sweet roasted peppers are lovely on the side.


  • 4 mackerel, gutted and degilled (head and tail left intact)
  • lemon or lime wedges, to serve

For the Marinade

  • 2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. ground mixed spice
  • 2 tsp. ground allspice
  • 2 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 2.5 cm (1 in) fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for the foil

For the Mash

  • 2 avocados
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • good handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt and black pepper


  1. Put everything for the marinade (except the oil) in a large mortar. Grind with a pestle, then add the oil and mix to a paste. Wash the mackerel inside and outside and pat dry with kitchen paper, then spread the marinade all over the fish, both inside and out. Put in a non-reactive dish, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes, until you want to cook them. Don’t leave it longer than an hour or the lime juice will ‘cook’ the fish.
  2. You need to make the avocado mash at the last minute, otherwise it will discolour. Halve the avocados, remove the stones and mash the flesh in a bowl with all the other ingredients. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  3. If you are going to barbecue the fish, place them in individual foil parcels, drizzling a little more oil over them to ensure that they don’t stick. Barbecue the parcels over medium-hot coals for about 5 minutes, turning halfway through, until done.
  4. If you are cooking this under a grill, heat the grill to its highest setting, place the fish on oiled foil on a grill rack or baking sheet and grill for 5 minutes. Then turn the grill off, close the oven door and leave for 4 minutes more - the residual heat will finish the cooking. You don’t need to go to the bother of turning the fish over.
  5. Serve the mackerel immediately with wedges of lemon or lime and accompanied by the avocado mash.