By Jeremy Round
The official show-off version of this Turkish dish involves removing the entire contents of the mackerel’s skin-sack through the gills or a tiny hole in the fish’s chin. But even the brusque method outlined below turns the mackerel, plentiful and cheap now, into a real star turn.
Wash the fish. Do not slice along the underbelly, but cut off the head and scoop out all the guts with your fingers. Wash the cavity well. Break the backbone, without tearing the skin, a little way up from the tail. Now loosen the flesh inside the skin by repeatedly pushing all over the outside surface of the fish with your thumbs until you feel it give, being careful not to split the delicate