Mackerel Bialys


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes



Appears in

New York Cult Recipes

New York Cult Recipes

By Marc Grossman

Published 2013

  • About

In New York, this sandwich filling is made using white fish, but in France I use smoked mackerel, which is technically a ‘blue’ fish. I can guarantee it’s just as good.

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Refrigeration time: at least 30 minutes




  • 150 g ( oz) smoked, cooked blue fish (mackerel or ‘bloater’ herring)
  • 50 g ( oz) fennel and/or celery, finely chopped
  • 25 g (1 oz) onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon plain mayonnaise
  • 1 pinch salt + 1 turn of the pepper mill


  • 6 lettuce leaves (cos/romaine or butter lettuce)
  • ½ Lebanese (short) cucumber, sliced very thinly or the equivalent amount of sweet pickles (see fast pickles)


The Filling

Remove the skin from the fish and lift the flesh from the bones. Add the fennel and/or celery, onion, sour cream and mayonnaise. Season with the salt and pepper and gently combine. Place in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

The Assembly

Slice the bialys in two. Cover the bottom half of each bialy with two lettuce leaves, then add the blue fish filling. Top with the slices of cucumber or pickle and the other half of each bialy. Enjoy immediately.


See recipe.