Spanish Mackerel – Not Your Typical Mackerel

One of my favorite whole fish is Spanish mackerel.  Typically, I can only find these fish at Whole Foods; however, today I saw several staring back at me from the case in Feby’s Fish Market.  Wild Spanish mackerel are an attractive silvery color with yellowish spots.  They have a white, flaky flesh and a milder, more appealing taste than Atlantic mackerel.

whole mackerel

The fishmonger gutted and scaled the fish, leaving the head and tail intact.  I used the very simple preparation below, steaming the mackerel on the grill in an aluminum foil pouch.

Place the fish on a sheet of aluminum foil and top with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, fresh squeezed lemon juice, sea salt and fresh ground pepper.  Place additional slices of lemon on top of the mackerel along with fresh herbs.  Cook on medium heat on a gas grill for 12 to 18 minutes, depending on the size.  Test its doneness by sticking a fork through the flesh.  If the fork goes straight through, the fish should be cooked.

To serve, remove the head and tail with a sharp knife and slide a flat spatula down the spine to remove the top fillet.  Remove the spine from the bottom fillet and then lift it with the spatula.  Serve with your favorite rice.  (Tonight I prepared a basmati rice cooked in coconut water to add a sweet, nutty flavor.)


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