Smoked mackerel & horseradish cups

Smoked mackerel & horseradish cups

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(5 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Plus chilling


Serves 12

Quick and impressive, John Torode's no-cook, mackerel pâté starter won't keep you in the kitchen for long

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal153
  • fat13g
  • saturates4g
  • carbs1g
  • sugars1g
  • fibre0g
  • protein8g
  • salt1.11g


  • 100g cottage cheese
  • 1 tbsp creamed horseradish
    Horseradish root on a wooden chopping board


    hors rad-ish

    Horseradish root is larger than an ordinary radish, and has a hot, peppery flavour.


  • 50ml soured cream
  • 3 smoked mackerel fillets


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

  • small handful chives, chopped
  • juice ½ lemon, plus lemon halves, to serve



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 12 large white or red chicory leaves



    Also known as endive, chicory is a forced crop, grown in complete darkness, which accounts for…


  1. Mix together the cottage cheese, horseradish and soured cream, and leave to sit for 10 mins.

  2. Remove skin and any bones from the mackerel, break into thumb-sized pieces and pop into a food processor. Pulse briefly to break up the chunks; it shouldn’t be too fine. Turn out into a large bowl.

  3. Mix the chives into the mackerel evenly, then fold in the cream mixture and lemon juice. Chill in the fridge for 20 mins.

  4. To serve, spoon some mackerel mix into each chicory leaf. Arrange on a large plate with lemon halves and serve with some drinks.

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Comments, questions and tips

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26th Jul, 2020
I made this last weekend as part of a buffet lunch. I used ricotta instead of cottage cheese and fromage frais instead of sour cream. It worked a treat and was devoured with requests for ‘more please’. I am sure the original ingredients would work just as well so I will give it 5 stars.
4th Feb, 2018
The ingredients suggested make enough for around 36 leaves.
28th Dec, 2011
Had this for a starter Xmas day along with thai melon (Good Housekeeping). This was fantastic, flavoursome and light enough to tantalise the taste buds but not spoil the dinner. My friend is making it for New Years Eve.
8th Dec, 2011
Easy to make, scrumptious to eat, I am making them again as a canapé starter on Xmas day.
12th Nov, 2011
Totally delicious and very easy. Made these a few weeks ago and am doing them again tonight. Saturday night, wine and canapes ;)
29th Nov, 2015
Can you freeze this recipe?
goodfoodteam's picture
10th Dec, 2015
No, sorry, we wouldn't recommend freezing these, but you could make the filling the day before then assemble quickly before eating.
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