Recipe: Mackerel Escabeche

PUBLISHED: 11:28 18 July 2018 | UPDATED: 15:44 18 July 2018

Mackerel Escabeche

Mackerel Escabeche


Sustainable and scrumptious, mackerel is the only fish on the menu this month

About the Chef: Ben Quinn

Chef Ben Quinn of Canteen Cornwall has become known for his creative, wholesome approach to cooking Cornwall’s finest ingredients. Inspiration for every season awaits in his new column for Cornwall Life, as we discover what’s on the menu this month

‘Many friends based near our HQ at Canteen in St Agnes are keen fisher folk, so we find ourselves inundated with their freshly caught bounty at this time of the year. We are more than happy to receive the seasonal glut of beautiful oily mackerel, which are easily line and pole caught, making them a sustainable choice as well as a delicious and healthy one.

Mackerel EscabecheMackerel Escabeche

We love the versatility of this true Cornish superfood, from fillets simply chargrilled, to a course pâté packed with crunchy freshly plucked radishes and punchy capers, and even whole mackerel stuffed with all manor of good things.

In the recipe below the oily quality of the fish is met with the sharp acidity of our favourite cider vinegar, sweet peppers and a hint of chilli – a perfect combination. If you can hold back from tucking in straight away, this ‘pickle’ will last for around a month in the fridge, helping you enjoy the goodness and great taste of this lovely fish well into the autumn.’

Mackerel EscabecheMackerel Escabeche


4 mackerel of a decent size, filleted

2 red chillies - deseeded

2 large red peppers

A handful of raisons

150ml of Secret Orchard

Cider Vinegar

100ml of Mother’s Garden

Olive Oil

Sugar, salt and pepper to taste.

1 garlic clove

A hand-full of pine nuts

1 Teaspoon coriander seeds

1 Teaspoon cumin seeds


1. Light a BBQ.

2. Take a roasting tin that will fit all the ingredients in.

3. Slice the peppers very thinly and add to the roasting tin along with the pine nuts, raisons, cumin and coriander seeds. Add the cider vinegar and heat the tin gently on top of the BBQ. The solution will poach the peppers gently but not be hot enough to boil them.

4. BBQ the mackerel fillets, being careful not to cook them all the way through. Aim for a lovely char on the outside. Place the fillets into the roasting tin and let the liquid finish cooking the fish through.

5. You can now season with sugar, salt and pepper and the thinly sliced garlic. The fish will take on all the flavours from the pickle, while staying deliciously smokey and keeping the flavour of the fish.

6. The next step is up to you. You can serve the dish straight to the table with plenty of bread and a herby salad, or you can spoon it into airtight containers topping with the olive oil. The ‘pickle’ will last for a month in the fridge.

Instagram: @woodfiredcanteen,


Latest from the Cornwall Life