What Does Mackerel Taste Like and How Can You Prepare It?

When it comes to serving fish for a special occasion, salmon or something with a strong flavor like trout are two of the best options. After reading a great post on the subject, you can catch these fish using an ultralight spinning combo. However, there is one that is beginning to gain popularity among consumers and fishermen, especially if you enjoy making a bold statement while also paying a reasonable price for saltwater fish. This is the one to watch.

There is no definitive answer as to which type of fish is superior when compared to others because taste is a highly subjective matter. However, while exotic species such as salmon, with its creamy textured flesh and intense flavor, are becoming more commonplace and have almost lost their appeal, the pale-hued, gentle-tasting, and reasonably priced mackerel is frequently overlooked, often for no apparent reason.


The Underdog Is Changing Its Status

This could be due to the fact that mackerel has a bit of a shady reputation. Even though the fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial to your heart and liver, it can develop an unpleasant odor if not consumed immediately after purchasing it from the market, for example.

It became increasingly difficult for most mackerel cooks, not only those who worked in remote areas far from the sea, as time went on. Today, however, you are not required to consume questionable meat or to use copious amounts of vinegar to mask the odor of expired fish. Why? Because in the meantime, the refrigerator was developed.

And now, much of the meat we eat, including not only fish but also lamb and cow meat, is frozen to preserve it without the use of salt or chemicals, allowing us to enjoy it longer.


Sustainability Is the Key

Mackerel is a type of saltwater fish that is related to tuna and belongs to the same family. In addition to having a darker pinkish hue to its flesh, the mackerel’s scales are tiger-striped and shimmering, and they have blue undertones. And what’s important to the buyer is that it’s relatively inexpensive to operate. There are several other names for this particular fish, including caballa and saba.

When it comes to sustainability, experts agree that it is a fish that replenishes itself quickly in the wild. This means that in the wild, it takes approximately three years for it to reach breeding maturity. Furthermore, it is almost always in season, which explains why it can be found in most markets throughout the year at any time.

They are typically caught using a purse seine system, which may sound complicated, but is simply a set of nets dropped by the fishermen once a large population has been identified through echolocation. Furthermore, this method is environmentally friendly, as it has no negative impact on the ocean or its deeper layers of water.


What Does It Taste Like?

Mackerel is a wonderful fish to cook because the way you prepare it has a significant impact on how it tastes. However, in its natural state, it has a strong flavor, and people have described it as tasting like – not chicken, but salmon or tuna, which we already know are members of the same family. It has a firm, chewy texture that is a little oily on the outside.

Some cooks claim that it has a true ocean flavor, especially if it is freshly prepared. It is not overly salty, and it contains a reasonable number of bones. Furthermore, it can be prepared in a variety of ways without losing any of its tenderness or distinctive flavor or aroma.


Make Sure the Fish Is Fresh

First and foremost, before learning how to prepare mackerel, you should make certain that you purchase fresh mackerel to ensure that your dishes turn out perfectly. If you are unsure whether or not the product you purchased from your local market is fresh, you can opt for canned fish instead, or you can embark on a fishing expedition with the aid of a high-quality fishing rod and reel to catch your own fish.

The smell is one indication that something is wrong. Despite the fact that it may sound strange, you should smell the fish before purchasing it. Consider whether or not it has a bad vibe to it; if it does, you should consider purchasing from a different source. It should have a salty, seaweedy smell to it, similar to that of the ocean. No smell is also a bad sign, as it indicates that the fish has been frozen for an excessive amount of time.

Experts believe that the fresher it is, the more of that wonderful ocean flavor you will be able to enjoy. If you have the stomach for it, you can pretend to be a chef and ask the seller for a sample so that you can get a taste of what you’re about to spend your money on before you buy it. Consider inspecting the skin to ensure that it is not brown and dry; otherwise, you can be confident that the fish was captured using an excellent quality saltwater spinning rod and reel combination.


How to Prepare It

Any recipe that calls for salmon fillets can be easily adapted to use mackerel fillets instead. Cooking mackerel is similar to cooking other fish in its family because it takes little time and requires little effort, allowing the flavor of the ocean to shine through. All you need is a drizzle of olive oil on the thin fillets, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a squeeze of lime to complete your dinner preparations.

The ingredient can be included in more elaborate recipes as well as sushi and salads, for example. It is a versatile fish that can surprise even the most experienced cook, so let us go over the different ways you can prepare it in detail.



As previously stated, filleting the fish is the most common method of preparing it for consumption. The angle behind the fish’s head should be the same as it would be for any other type of fish. Then, in order to facilitate access, cut down the lateral line. It is important not to cut into the stomach or intestines of the animal while slicing it down, as this could cause the contents to spill.

Cut confidently across the fish, along its spine, to avoid wasting any of the fish’s flesh. Remove the ribs and spine from the meat after you’ve finished slicing it, just in case you forgot. Double-check for any leftover bones, as these can pose a health hazard to those who consume them.

After seasoning the pieces with high-quality salt, place them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or so to rest. Some people season the fillets by dipping them in milk and then seasoning them with seasoning. Another traditional method of preparing it is to make a batter out of eggs and flour mixture. Never remove the skin because it is edible and also contributes to the silky texture of the fresh. The fillets can then be fried or grilled depending on your preference. It is entirely up to you.


Sashimi and Sushi

Mackerel is an excellent sashimi fish because of its firm, Omega-3-rich flesh and creamy flavor. Mackerel is also a good source of protein. Then, after you’ve followed the same steps as you did for the fillets, you just have to cut it into small strips to finish preparing it.

The intense flavors serve as a wonderful complement to the well-known Japanese sauces, while also providing a slew of health benefits in their own right. And sashimi is the most effective way to incorporate fish into your diet in order to reap the benefits of this nutritious fish.

If you are a fan of Japanese cuisine, you can also use the same strips of tender meat to make sushi if you are so inclined. Incorporating mackerel into sushi pieces is just as delicious as using tuna or salmon in combination with freshly steamed rice, and there are hundreds of variations to choose from.


Marinated King Mackerel Steaks

Six king mackerel steaks, 1/4 cup orange juice and one tablespoon soy sauce, fresh parsley, two tablespoons vegetable oil and lemon juice, one tablespoon catsup and one tablespoon oregano are all you’ll need for this delectable recipe. You can also include a clove of garlic if you want.

The first step in preparing this recipe is to thoroughly rinse the fish in cold or mildly warm water before cooking it. Once the pieces have been thoroughly dried, they should be placed in a large shallow container. Combine the orange juice, soy sauce, and the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. Pour the marinade over the fish and set it aside for 30 minutes to marinate.

Finally, remove the steaks from the marinade and place them on a greased rack in the oven to broil for a few minutes until done. Heat it up and then turn the steaks once they’re finished cooking them. Use a fork to check whether they are done, and serve them right away with a side of salad.


Mackerel Thai Style

Another delectable recipe that brings the flavors of Asia to your table is presented here. To make this dish, you’ll need twelve mackerel fillets, twelve limes, one red pepper, lemongrass, and three teaspoons of palm sugar, among other ingredients. If you want it to be even spicier, you can also add some fresh ginger.

Then, using a fine mesh strainer, carefully extract the juice from the twelve limes. Finely chop the pepper and lemongrass and add them to the lime juice along with the ginger, which should be stirred in. Now it’s time to add the sugar. Place your fresh mackerel fillets in the marinade and set aside for twelve hours to soak up the flavor. You can eat it raw, cut it down and toss it with a salad, or grill it to your liking on a grill pan.

White wine is a good beverage to pair with this dish, but make sure you choose a high-quality bottle because the cheap taste of a poor selection could ruin the entire meal. Some people believe that sake would be a better option, but sake can be difficult to come by outside of Japan and the major metropolitan areas.