• Step 1
    Remove the guts

    Use the knife tip to make a small slit in
    the belly. Remove the guts, then place the
    fish under gently running cold water to
    wash away any remaining blood and
    guts. Pat dry with kitchen paper.

  • Step 2
    Cut behind the head

    With the backbone of the fish facing
    towards you, cut behind the back of the
    head down to the backbone.

  • Step 3
    Cut towards the tail

    Carefully twist the knife towards the
    tail. Then, with your hand on top of
    the fillet, cut the fillet off in a clean
    sweeping motion.

  • Step 4
    Lift fillet away

    Lift the fillet away from the fish.

  • Step 5
    Turn fish over

    Turn the fish over, hold the head firmly and
    place the knife into the fish just behind the
    head, again until you get to the backbone.

  • Step 6
    Repeat the cut

    Twist your knife so it is flat against the
    fish and, like before, cut the fillet off in a
    sweeping motion all the way to the tail.

  • Step 7
    Remove the pin bones

    To remove the pin bones, lay both fillets,
    skin side down, and make an incision at
    an angle along the brown strip, being
    careful not to cut into the skin.

  • Step 8

    Repeat along the other side of the brown
    strip in the middle.

  • Step 9
    Pull out the bones

    Using the tip of your knife cut and pull
    away the bones and brown meat from
    the fish.

Remove the guts
Cut behind the head
Cut towards the tail
Lift fillet away
Turn fish over
Repeat the cut
Remove the pin bones
Pull out the bones

Grilled mackerel with sweet soy glaze

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(5 ratings)


Magazine subscription – 3 issues for £3

Cooking time

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 15 mins

Skill level



Serves 2

Learn to fillet this sustainable fish with our step-by-step guide, then serve with fragrant Asian flavours

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition info

Nutrition per serving



  • 4 mackerel fillets (use our step-by-step guide if filleting from whole)
  • zest and juice 1 lime, plus extra wedges to serve
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • butter, for greasing
  • steamed baby bok choi, to serve

For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and cut into matchsticks
  • juice 1 lime
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, grated
  • 2 tbsp muscovado sugar

Compare prices

Want to see what this recipe costs at different supermarkets? Compare in one place here:


Launch step by step
  1. Score the mackerel fillets a couple of times on the skin, then lay them in a shallow dish. Sprinkle with the lime zest and juice, and leave to marinate for 5-10 mins.
  2. Place all of the sauce ingredients in a small pan with a splash of water and gradually bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 mins to thicken slightly, then remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Turn the grill to its highest setting and place the mackerel on a greased baking tray, skin side up. Sprinkle the fillets with the olive oil and some sea salt, then grill for 5 mins until the flesh is opaque and cooked through.
  4. Divide bok choi between plates, lay 2 mackerel fillets on top, drizzle with the sauce and serve with a wedge of lime.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, February 2012

Ads by Google

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.


Show comments
philinbrighton's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

This was all a bit strong for me. The glaze was alright but I don't think I realised quite how strong mackerel is. I don't think i'd make it again.

kingkoo's picture

Hi there, I was going to try it, but, nowhere did the recipe talk about flipping the fish. So the skin side of the fish is never cooked then? Am I missing something?


deborahpeirce's picture

No you're not missing anything. I grill mackerel like this all the time, by the time the skin side is really crispy the flesh side will be cooked also.

wifey2709's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Made it to the recipe - delicious, we have had it twice now and will make it again and again. Cooked the fish on the barbeque so the skin was really crispy.

karenjohnson23's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Sauce first time was slightly overpowering, so changed in line with Raymond Blanc recipe - 1 tbsp soy sauce plus 1 tbsp water, instead of 2 tbsp soy sauce, also make chilli a small one or half of medium one. I also reduced the sugar to 2 tsp. This upped rating to 5 star.

jv1508pc's picture
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Easy to prepare and cook with store cupboard ingredients. Added the butter from cooked new potatoes to sauce to mellow the sharpness. A whole chilli might be too fiery for some.