Grilled mackerel with harissa & coriander couscous

Grilled mackerel with harissa & coriander couscous

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(12 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 15 mins


Serves 4
Oil-rich mackerel is full of omega-3 and is an environmentally aware way to enjoy fish

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal502
  • fat33g
  • saturates6g
  • carbs21g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre1g
  • protein31g
  • salt0.65g


  • 4 small whole mackerel, gutted and filleted


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

  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • grated zest and juice 1 lime, plus wedges to serve



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • 1 bunch spring onions, finely sliced
    Spring onions

    Spring onion

    sp-ring un-yun

    Also known as scallions or green onions, spring onions are in fact very young onions, harvested…

  • 2 tbsp harissa paste (more depending on taste)
  • 140g couscous



    Consisting of many tiny granules made from steamed and dried durum wheat, couscous has become a…

  • 500ml hot vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander, plus sprigs to serve


  1. Brush each fillet 2-3 times with a little of the olive oil and rub with the lime zest. Season and sprinkle with half the lime juice then marinate for 5 mins.

  2. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large pan. Add half the onions and harissa, and stir over a medium heat for 2-3 mins. Stir in the couscous and toss to coat with the harissa. Add the hot stock, cover and remove from the heat. Stand for 5 mins, fluff with a fork and stir in the remaining spring onions, coriander, lime juice and some seasoning. Heat the grill.

  3. Grill the mackerel for 3-4 mins on each side or until the flesh is opaque. Divide the couscous between 4 plates and slide a fillet on top. Serve with lime wedges.

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Comments, questions and tips

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11th Mar, 2018
Cooked exactly as described and was delicious. Great light lunch.
23rd Jun, 2016
This is a fantastic recipe, full of goodness and flavour and very quick to make. I only added 1 tbsp of Harissa to ensure it wasn't too hot but could have done with some more although I think 2 tbsp may have been too much. I added Red Pepper and Soya Beans to the cous cous and placed on a bed of Spinach to pack some more healthy food into the meal. I used a 100g packet of cous cous and only the amount of water stated on the packet (160ml) this worked perfectly. I will definitely be making this recipe again. Thank you :-)
15th Jul, 2015
Great recipe but as some other reviewers have said, the amount of stock is way too much. I'd go for about 350-375ml.
abcdefghijord's picture
20th Aug, 2013
Tried this with sea bream instead of mackerel as my OH isn't a great fan of fishy fish and although we didn't add lime as I'd forgotten to pick one up, it still tasted great. I would fry the spring onion down a little more than I did but it did prove a nice crunch in the couscous. I would say portion sizes are wrong, as we did 75g of dried couscous each and still feel a bit peckish! We did love the flavours in the couscous though! Harissa just makes anything taste fab! I only used 400ml of stock also as 500ml is just far too much as per my couscous packet instructions. Will definitely make again.
19th Jun, 2012
This recipe serves 2, not 4. Used 2 tsps jarred chilli as i had no harissa, and found it needed the juice of an extra lime in the couscous. Also followed a previous reviewer's advice and only used 400ml stock in the couscous, and even then it was a little soggy. I found the mackerel overcooked at 5 mins, I think 3 or 4 mins would have been plenty, 3-4 mins per side as per the recipe would have been way too much. Having said all that, we found it really tasty, and I will definitely cook it again with a few tweaks.
18th Jan, 2012
Fantastic - the spicy couscous really complimented the mackerel. I reduced the amount of stock down to 400ml which worked perfectly for fluffy couscous.
19th Aug, 2011
Absolutely loved it! Amazing flavours and the mackerel really stands up to the lime and spice. Only made 2 portions really but that was fine as we had 2 fillets each.
9th Jun, 2011
oh and you can bake the mackerel too instead of grilling it.
9th Jun, 2011
i loved the couscous recipe - agree with Frantic Flapjack that the couscous is a little soggy and also that harissa paste is very spicy. I used 2 tsp instead of 2 tbsp and it was spicy enough.
Frantic Flapjack
23rd May, 2011
This was quick and easy to make. The harissa paste is very spicy so go easy if you don't like your food too spicy. The recipe says it serves 4 but I struggled to make 3 good servings with the couscous. Also, I think the couscous was a little soggy - maybe use less liquid or more couscous.


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