Pickled Mackerel

Yehi Zino

15 minutes + 2 hours curing

4 servings

Illustration of pickled mackerel on a plate

Illustration: Rotem Biksenspaner

Pickled Mackerel
Illustration: Rotem Biksenspaner

In this recipe, oily and flavorful mackerel is lightly pickled in vinegar. Quick and easy to prepare, it requires your patience for 2 hours. With the help of a small and very simple trick, the fish also has a mild smoky flavor.

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  • 1.1. lb / ½ kg fresh mackerel fillet with the skin 
  • Salt
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons (500ml) 5% natural vinegar
  • 1 sage stalk
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 3 bay leaves


  1. Heat a heavy non-stick griddle pan over medium-high heat. Run your fingers along the fish and make sure no stray bones remain. Place the fish on the work surface, skin side facing down, and season generously with salt.
  2. Place the fish in the pan, skin side facing down, and grill for 2-3 minutes, until there are grill marks on the skin. Remove from the pan and transfer to a glass container with a lid. Pour in half of the vinegar so that the fish is covered.
  3. Pour the remaining vinegar into a wide bowl. Spray the sage stalk with a little oil and set it on fire for 30 seconds before tossing it, while burning, into the bowl of vinegar (the charred sage will add a smoky flavor to the vinegar). Add the allspice berries and bay leaves and mix well.
  4. Pour the seasoned vinegar into the glass container with the fish, cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 
  5. Before serving, remove the fish from the vinegar, transfer to a serving plate and drizzle with a little olive oil.

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