Star Anise Fragrant Mackerel with Apricots and Fresh Lime


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

Josceline Dimbleby’s Complete Cookbook

Josceline Dimbleby’s Complete Cookbook

By Josceline Dimbleby

Published 1997

  • About

This healthy dish is really quick to prepare. It also tastes excellent. Serve with steamed new potatoes and briefly cooked sliced spring greens.


  • 4 small mackerel, gutted, with heads left on
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 225 g/8 oz fresh apricots
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 3 tablespoons sherry
  • 4-5 spring onions
  • soy sauce
  • salt
  • black pepper


Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Lay the mackerel in a shallow ovenproof dish and insert a whole star anise inside each fish. Cut the apricots in half, remove the stones and chop the flesh finely. Peel the garlic and chop finely. Spoon the chopped apricots and garlic between the fish in the dish. Pour the lime juice and sherry all over and sprinkle with a little salt and plenty of black pepper. Cover the dish tightly with foil and cook the fish on the centre shelf of the oven for 30-35 minutes.

Meanwhile, trim the spring onions and chop finely across. When the fish is cooked, remove the foil. Just before serving, sprinkle with the chopped spring onions and trickle a little soy sauce over each fish.