60 ml (¼ cup)olive oil, plus extra for drizzling1 tspSherry vinegar1 tsplight soy sauce 4mackerel fillets (140gm each), pin-boned20 gmhorseradish, finely grated1 tbsp eachdill, chervil, tarragon, chives, micro-coriander and rocket cressPickled cucumber200 mlapple juice1 cup (loosely packed)flat-leaf parsley leaves25 mlwhite wine vinegar1 tspnori powder (see note)2Lebanese cucumbers, thinly sliced on a mandolin
For pickled cucumber, combine ingredients (except cucumber) in a blender with 250ml water and ½ tsp sea salt flakes and blend to combine, then strain through a fine sieve into a non-reactive bowl, add cucumber and stand at room temperature to pickle (3-3½ hours). Drain and reserve cucumbers and pickling liquid separately.
Preheat a woodfired or charcoal barbecue (or a char-grill pan) to high heat. Mix oil, Sherry vinegar and soy sauce in a bowl and set aside. Drizzle mackerel with extra oil, season both sides with salt to taste, then cook skin-side down until skin is well grilled and crisp (3-4 minutes). Turn and cook until almost cooked through (1-2 minutes; do not overcook).
Arrange cucumbers and fish on plates, drizzle with a little pickling liquid, scatter with horseradish and herbs and serve warm.
Note Nori powder is available from Japanese grocers. If it’s unavailable, fold half a sheet of nori into a small rectangle and chop very finely.
This recipe is from the June 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
“Mackerel is such a wonderful fish and also one of the most under-used,” says Graham. At The Harwood Arms, he cooks it over a charcoal flame. “Grilling it in this fashion is my favourite way of preparing mackerel.”