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Chermoula-marinated mackerel

Chermoula-marinated mackerel

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  • Preparation and cooking time
    • Prep:
    • Cook:
  • More effort
  • Serves 2

Chermoula is a North African marinade, used to flavour fish. The recipe varies, but this one contains paprika, making in Moroccan

Nutrition: per serving
low insalt0.36g


  • 2 whole mackerel , scaled, gutted and cleaned
  • olive oil , for brushing
  • lemon wedges, to serve

For the filling

  • 1 garlic clove , roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp saffron
  • 1 red chilli , roughly chopped, seeds in or out - up to you
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the chermoula

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • pinch chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 50g coriander , roughly chopped
  • 3 tbsp light olive oil


  • STEP 1

    Pound the ingredients for the filling together using a pestle and mortar. Make 3 diagonal incisions along both sides of each mackerel, then push in the filling. Chill for up to 2 hrs before cooking.

  • STEP 2

    Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. For the chermoula, place the garlic, spices, lemon juice, coriander and a pinch of sea salt into a blender. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, blending.

  • STEP 3

    Brush the mackerel with a little olive oil on both sides, then place on a hot griddle or frying pan and sear for 2 mins on each side. Carefully transfer to an oven tray and bake for about 10 mins, or until the mackerel is cooked through. Drizzle with some of the chermoula and serve with the Carrot, olive & lemon couscous (recipe, below), lemon wedges and the remaining chermoula on the side.


Place 100g couscous in a bowl with 25g butter. Pour over 100ml boiling water, then cover with cling film and leave to steam for about 4 mins. Remove the cling film and fluff the couscous with a fork, then stir in 50g black pitted olives, zest 1 lemon, 2 tbsp chopped coriander, pinch ground cumin, 1 finely chopped red chilli, 85g drained chickpeas and 1 small grated carrot. Season to taste.

Goes well with

Recipe from Good Food magazine, August 2010

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