Nigel Slater Aromatic Mackerel Recipe

Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers visited Cornwall and Nigel prepared an Aromatic Mackerel recipe. This was a quick and tasty supper for four people, finished under the grill.

This aromatic mackerel recipe reduces the strong mackerel taste, so it’s not too fishy.

Nigel Slater described it as

“What’s so remarkable about that is I am getting all of those wonderful flavours … but it’s not too fishy, the whole intensity of mackerel has been knocked back”


Nigel Slater Aromatic Mackerel Recipe

Nigel Slater Aromatic Mackerel

  • 2 sticks of lemongrass
  • 4 spring onions
  • 1 small, hot, red or yellow chilli
  • 1 walnut-sized piece of ginger
  • 4 limes
  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp flavourless oil, such as groundnut or vegetable oil
  • small bunch coriander leaves
  • few bushy sprigs of basil
  • 4 mackerel fillets


  1. Finely slice two sticks of lemongrass and 4 spring onions.
  2. Seed and finely chop a small red or yellow chilli, and peel and grate a walnut-sized piece of ginger.
  3. Slice 4 limes in half, and squeeze them into a bowl. Pour in the fish sauce and stir in the caster sugar.
  4. Get a wok hot and then pour in the vegetable oil. Add the lemongrass, onions, chilli and ginger and stir-fry them briefly. They should soften rather than colour.
  5. Pour the lime juice mixture into the wok then scatter on the coriander leaves and basil.
  6. Place the mackerel fillets skin-side down on a grill pan. Place them under a hot grill until the flesh turns opaque.
  7. Remove the pan from the heat and spoon the aromatic topping onto the fish. Return to the grill for 5 minutes or so until the mixture starts to brown.
  8. Serve at once.

You can watch the short BBC video for this recipe here: Nigel Slater, Aromatic Mackerel.

Nigel lived in St Ives, Cornwall, in his early 20s, after he ran away from home. He worked in a B&B and a pub. Having had a series of hospitality-based jobs he headed for London. Nigel Slater has never worked as a chef, in a large kitchen, like most other celebrity chefs have done.

Nigel Slater’s Simple Suppers are available as DVDs, so why not watch an entire series at your own pace: Simple Suppers Series

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