long established fact
45 mins
1-2 people
Rich in Omega 3
Fresh mackerel leaps into season in June and rhubarb is still here! Pickled with lemongrass, ginger and peppercorns this makes for a fresh and zingy supper. The pickles are also stunning with cheese or a BBQ'd pork chop.
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  • 500g rhubarb
  • 40g fresh ginger
  • 1 lemon grass stem
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 tbsp pink peppercorns or 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 125g caster sugar
  • 250ml cider vinegar
  • 250ml cold water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 fresh mackerel fillets
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • A handful of watercress


  • Chop the rhubarb into 2cm diagonal pieces. Peel the ginger and thinly slice it. Cut the slices in to thin matchsticks. Halve the lemon grass and bash it a couple of times with a blunt knife to release the flavour.

  • Put all the pickle ingredients into a pan except for the rhubarb. Bring to the boil then simmer for 5 mins.

  • Put the rhubarb into a large tub or non-metallic bowl and pour the hot pickling liquor over the top. Using a spoon, submerge the rhubarb. Leave to cool then pop it into the fridge, covered tightly.

  • Pickle for a few hours or up to 4 weeks. This will make approx. 1kg of pickled rhubarb and much more that you’ll need for this recipe. Fantastic with cheese, pork chops or atop a curry or stirfry to add zing and crunch.

  • To cook the mackerel: place a frying pan on the heat for a few mins then pour in 1 tbsp olive oil. Season the mackerel fillets all over, and then lay them skin-side down in the hot pan. Fry for 2-3 mins, flip over using a fish slice or spatula, and cook for a further 1 min.

  • Serve the mackerel with a spoonful of the pickled rhubarb along with the pickling juices and a handful of peppery watercress.

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