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Sweet & sour mackerel

Sweet & sour mackerel

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

This healthy but substantial dish is ready in just half an hour, perfect for a midweek meal for two

Nutrition: per serving


  • 4 fresh mackerel fillets, pin boned, each cut into 4 large pieces
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 400-500ml/14-18fl oz sunflower oil
  • 1 spring onion , finely sliced

For the sweet & sour sauce

  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 1 tsp Thai fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 small onion , cut into six wedges
  • 2 garlic cloves , very finely chopped
  • thumb-size piece fresh root ginger , finely chopped
  • 300g/10oz fresh pineapple , peeled, cored and cut into rough 2cm chunks
  • 1 long dried red chilli , cut into 3 pieces
  • 1 tsp cornflour


  • STEP 1

    Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, nam pla and 100ml cold water. Heat the tbsp sunflower oil in a large frying pan or wok until very hot. Add the onion, garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for 30 secs, then reduce the heat and stir in the sauce.

  • STEP 2

    Add the pineapple and chilli, then cook for 3-4 mins until the pineapple is slightly soft and the sauce is hot. Mix the cornflour with 1 tbsp cold water and stir into the sauce. Cook until thickened and glossy. Season with plenty of ground black pepper.

  • STEP 3

    Toss the fish with the flour and a pinch of salt until evenly coated. Place a medium saucepan over a high heat and add enough oil to rise 1cm up the sides of the pan. When the oil is hot, lower the fish into the pan using tongs and fry hard for about 1-2 mins on each side until golden and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper. Do not allow the oil to overheat and do not leave the hot oil unattended.

  • STEP 4

    Reheat the sauce until bubbling, then spoon into warmed dishes and place the hot fish on top. Scatter with shredded spring onion and serve immediately.


Available all year, mackerel is a really good-for-you fish with high levels of omega 3. Very fresh whole mackerel will be stiff and firm with glassy eyes and red gills; as the fish ages it will soften. Mackerel fillets are also widely available – you will pay £2-£3 for four.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, March 2010

Goes well with


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A star rating of 4.2 out of 5.5 ratings

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