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How to make perfect grilled mackerel

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If recent reports of over-fishing have alarmed you, fear not - you don't have to silence your fish-induced cravings yet - we have the perfect substitution that's both ocean and artery-friendly too.

It comes in the form of the humble mackerel fillet. It’s cheap and tasty and is being dubbed as the new King of the Ocean, gently nudging the over-fished tuna to second place. Okay that’s enough of us sounding like your mother - instead, dismiss those horror-filled memories of tinned mackerel from a can and try this inspired recipe from Raymond Blanc's latest book, Kitchen Secrets.

Ingredients:

4 Mackerel fillets (skin on)

For the dressing:

15ml / 1tbsp Water

30ml / 2 tbsp Soy sauce

10g / 1 tbsp Palm sugar or dark muscovado sugar

5g / 1 tsp Finely chopped fresh ginger

5ml / ½ tsp Lime juice

For the fennel salad:

150g / ½x Fennel bulb, trimmed

6ml Lime juice, freshly squeezed

20ml / 4 tsp Extra Virgin Olive oil

5g / 1 tsp Salt

15g Rocket leaves

1g / 1 pinch Pepper, white

6g Fennel seeds, soaked in warm water for 2 hrs & toasted in a dry pan(*1)

Recipe:

For the salad, remove the core from the fennel, then cut into wafer-thin slices using a mandolin. Immerse in a bowl of iced water and set aside for 20 minutes.

In a bowl combine the water, soy sauce, sugar, ginger and lime juice, taste and adjust as required.

To prepare the mackerel:

Preheat your grill to high. Check the mackerel for pin bones and lightly score the skin at 2cm intervals. Place the mackerel '''fillets skin side up on a baking tray and place under the hot grill for 4-5 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets, until the fish is just cooked.

Whilst the mackerel is under the grill, drain the fennel, pat dry in a clean tea towel and place in a large bowl with the rocket leaves, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil and seasoning. Toss lightly together to combine and sprinkle with the toasted fennel seeds. Divide the salad between the plates and lay the grilled mackerel fillets on top. Spoon the glaze over and around the fish.

You can substitute the mackerel with either tuna or beef.

Photograph: Jean Cazals

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