Tartare of Mackerel with Pickled Cucumber


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


Appears in

Today's special: A new take on bistro food

Today's special

By Anthony Demetre

Published 2008

  • About

This tartare treatment would suit several other types of oily fish, particularly meaty tuna, but you could also use sardines or salmon.


  • 8 mackerel fillets, skinned
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • Grated zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • Grated zest and juice of ½ lime
  • 200 ml (double) cream
  • Baby coriander shoots, to garnish (optional)
  • Smoked paprika, to garnish (optional)

For the Pickled Cucumber

  • ½ cucumber peeled, halved lengthwise, deseeded and thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons runny honey
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar


First salt the cucumber slices well and leave to drain in a colander.

Prepare the mackerel: remove the central bones from the fillets (the bones should come out in one piece if this is done carefully). Chop the flesh into small dice, about 5 mm.

In a bowl, mix this with the chopped capers, shallots, parsley, ginger, lemon and lime juices, salt and pepper. Chill in the fridge.

Make the pickled cucumber by bringing to the boil all the pickle ingredients apart from the cucumber in a pan with 4 tablespoons of water. Take off the heat and add the cucumber. Leave to cool.

Lightly whip the double cream to ribbon stage (the whisk leaves a trail in the cream), add the citrus zest with a squeeze of the juice of each and some seasoning.

Using two wetted serving spoons, mould the cream into quenelles and place one on each serving plate, heap some mackerel tartare alongside that and finish with some of the cooled pickled cucumber.

If you like, garnish with some coriander shoots and sprinkle the cream with smoked paprika.