Tamarind-glazed Mackerel

Image of raw mackerel fillets

Most of us don’t eat enough fish. The UK government guidelines say (and I know we don’t trust them after they cut our recommended booze allowance, but still) we should eat two helpings a week, one of which should be an oily fish. This is a good place to start.

Mackerel is a fish that can take strong flavours. It benefits from sour notes to combat its richness, which is why it’s traditionally served with a gooseberry sauce. With goosegogs out of season I turned to Asian flavours: tamarind, ginger and chilli.

This is a good dish for a quick supper: from fridge to plate in under half an hour. I usually serve it with noodles. The mackerel came from Turners fishmongers of Sudbury, deserving winners of the best customer service award in 2015’s East Anglian Daily Times Food and Drink Awards.

Tamarind-glazed Mackerel

Image of tamarind-glazed mackerel, cooked


4 fresh mackerel fillets

2 tspn tamarind concentrate

1 thumb of ginger, peeled and grated

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tspn Sriracha or other chilli sauce

2 tspn toasted sesame oil

2 tspn runny honey

Fresh coriander, finely sliced red chilli (optional) and chunks of lime, to garnish


In a small bowl, whisk together the tamarind, ginger, garlic, chilli sauce, honey and sesame oil. Line a grill pan with foil. Brush the marinade over the fish on both sides and let it absorb the flavours for 20 minutes.

Image of marinated mackerel

Heat the grill to high and cook the fish for just a couple of minutes on either side, turning carefully. Serve garnished with sprigs of fresh coriander, finely sliced red chilli and wedges of lime to squeeze over. 

17 thoughts on “Tamarind-glazed Mackerel

    • It’s a winning combo, I think, and so quick and easy. Perfect midweek supper. Thanks for the feedback – it’s lovely to swap ideas and inspiration – a two-way street. Lx

  1. That looks amazing. Do you think they sell tamarind concentrate at most large Sainsbury’s, or will I need to go to a specialist store? Thanks

    • Hey, Will, how are you? I don’t have a Sainsbury near me so I’m not sure but most big supermarkets sell it these days. If not, an Asian corner shop or grocer will often have it in block form, in which case you have to soak it and pull the seeds out (and use a little more as it’s not as intense). The concentrate is useful though – keeps in the fridge for ages and always on hand.

  2. Hi Linda, the sound of the recipe caught me from the title, then after reading through the details and all the comments I think I’m totally in agreement! Love oily fish and love hot Asian flavours.

    Mackerel is totally underused, in fact I can’t remember the last time I bought it to prepare myself. It was a home staple while I was growing up – but it was particularly cheap then. I know it’s not an expensive fish now, compared to some, but it’s been all but lost to our buying consciousness. I don’t often see mackerel on the fish counter: it’s all snapper, tuna, river cobbler and shellfish. Thanks for the recipe – I will try this soon, as I always have all those ingredients (bar the fish!) 🙂

    • Hi Scarlet and thanks for the follow-back – love your blog, so pleased to have discovered it. I’m glad you like the mackerel recipe, as you say it’s a much underused fish, although we’re fortunate living not far from the coast because we can usually get it, spanking fresh. Hope you enjoy it if you try it. Lx

      • Thank you! I so appreciate it – I’ve only ever had a couple of comments on it and views are low, so I’ve been close to giving up recently (although I was reminded that I created it for myself, and I should continue with that in mind). So it’s a joy to have someone say something positive about it.

        Your site is as rich and delicious with content as your food, and I adore your writing style. It’s made my week to have been able to find you and link up x

      • Oh no, don’t give it up! Not if you’re enjoying it, anyway. You write well and intelligently, your recipes are interesting and make me want to cook them and your pix and drawings are fab. I’m not sure how long you’ve been doing it but often it’s a slow build. Thanks for the kind comments about Mrs P, it’s lovely to link up. I moan about social media sometimes but it’s great when you link up with like-minded people. I’ve made so many friends through Mrs P, most of whom I’ve never actually met, but whose virtual company I enjoy hugely. Welcome to the gang!

      • Thanks Linda! Glad to have found you and I think the start of a long t’internet friendship! Appreciate the encouragement too 🙂

Leave a Reply