Buried Mackerel

This is a favourite recipe for curing mackerel in the style of gravad lax.


  • 2 medium-sized mackerel, carefully filleted and with all the bones removed
  • 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon light muscovado sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 teaspoons crushed coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 4-6 tablespoons apple juice
  • red and green apple slices
  • spring onions
  • sprig coriander leaves


  • 6 tablespoons apple juice
  • 2 tablespoons groundnut oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds


Place 2 of the mackerel fillets in a shallow dish, skin side down. Mix the salt, sugar, pepper, coriander seeds and leaves. Spread this over the fillets; sprinkle on some of the apple juice, and place the other 2 fillets on top, skin side up. Spoon the rest of the apple juice over the fish. Cover with clingfilm, place a weighted board on top, and leave in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

Scrape off the salt mixture then, to serve, cut the fish diagonally into thin slices, and place on individual plates with a small salad of thin red and green apple slices, spring onions and a sprig of coriander leaves. Mix the apple juice and oils together, spoon over the apples, and sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over the top.