Soused mackerel with crème fraîche & capers

Soused mackerel with crème fraîche & capers

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Cook: 10 mins Prep 15 mins + 24 hrs soaking


Serves 2 as a light lunch or 4 as a starter
James Martin's version of this authentic Scandinavian dish of 24 hour-marinated fish

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving (based on 2 sharing)

  • kcal672
  • fat48g
  • saturates14g
  • carbs9g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre2g
  • protein49g
  • salt1.8g
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  • 300ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 small carrot, thinly sliced



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 6 allspice berries, slightly crushed
  • 8 whole black peppercorn
  • 4 clove



    The dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a wide variety…

  • 1 tbsp sugar



    Honey and syrups made from concentrated fruit juice were the earliest known sweeteners. Today,…

  • 4 mackerel fillets


    Mackerel is a firm-fleshed, torpedo-shaped sea fish. Whole mackerel weigh in around 10-12oz (…

To serve

  • 2 slices rye bread
  • 100g low-fat crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp caper



    Capers are the small flower buds of the Capparis shrub, which grows in the Mediterranean. As…

  • 1 small red onion
  • small bunch chives, snipped


  1. Put the vinegar, 300ml water, carrot, red onion, allspice berries, peppercorns, cloves, sugar and 1 tsp salt in a pan and bring to the boil. Gently simmer for 10 mins until the carrot is just cooked, then take off the heat and allow to cool slightly.

  2. Lay the mackerel fillets, flesh-side down, in a shallow dish and pour the sousing liquid on top, allow everything to cool, then cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 24 hrs.

  3. The following day, drain the mackerel fillets from the liquid and cut into slices. Toast the rye bread, then pile a few mackerel slices on top with a dollop of crème fraîche and a scattering of capers, chopped red onion and chives.

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Comments (1)

ancarebeca's picture

wow that was nice! and soooo easy to make! didn't have rye bread, our baker only makes it at the weekend, but tried with some nice granary and some good white toast. it worked a treat. we used capers and creme fraiche for garnish, like the recipe suggested. forgot the onions, but never mind, the fish was pink from the onion in the marinade and acidic enough. the big plus for me was the texture of the fish. I am not particularly fond of mackerel unless it's smoked, but this was really melt in the mouth, moist fish that really tasted of the sea. will definitely do again, it was worth the wait. BTW, nit sure if the dish makes a difference, I used an enamel tray.

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