Mackerel escabeche recipe

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Pete's Mackerel Escabeche

I am lying slightly on this title as the recipe really belongs to the lovely Montse or the wonderful June (Pete's mum) who both cook it superbly. Escabeche is a mediterranean marinade that can be used to cook almost anything. The Spanish love to use it on oily fish like mackerel or sardines but also use it for chicken and rabbit. The only ingredients that are vital for a escabeche are onions, flour and wine vinegar. The rest can be adapted and tweaked as you wish. This recipe is for Mackerel, which in Begur is particularly delicious as the fish you buy in the fish monger in the evening is fresh from that days catch. This dish should be prepared at least a couple of hours before you wish to eat it.

Ingredients - for 6 people (ish)

1kg of mackerel - gutted and heads removed


white whine vinegar

3 large onions


a fresh chilli

red peppers

olive oil


bay leaves


Raw Mackerel
fresh mackerel


  1. Coat the mackerel in flour and add some salt
  2. Fry the mackerel in olive oil until it is brown both sides, do not cook throughout, should take a couple of minutes each side
  3. Remove the mackerel and put it aside to use later
  4. Slice the onion, chilli and peppers and fry in some more olive oil in the same pan that you used for the fish
  5. Once the onions and peppers are soft, add the mackerel back into the pan
  6. Add a 50:50 mixture of water and white wine vinegar until all the fish is covered
  7. Add a few peppercorns and maybe a few bay leafs
  8. Cook for a couple of minutes and the turn off the heat
  9. Cover and leave to stand for a couple of hours

Serve with plenty of fresh bread as the best bit of this meal is the dipping! (mojar as the Spanish say)

Mackerel Escabeche

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