BBQ Stuffed Mackerel

NB If you can’t get hold of seaweed you can swap it for spinach, sorrel or other leafy garden herbs.

serves 4


  • For the fish
    • 100g samphire, picked over
    • 65g fresh breadcrumbs
    • 120g re hydrated dried seaweed ( buy in super markets or online ) or other sea vegetables
    • 4 salted anchovies, chopped
    • 3 tablespoons creamed horseradish
    • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
    • juice and zest of a lemon
    • 8 medium mackerel, filleted and v-boned to remove all the pin bones – you could ask the fishmonger to do this for you
    • vegetable- or olive oil for cooking
    • salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • For the sauce
    • 100g butter
    • juice and zest of a lemon
    • 1 garlic clove, grated
    • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the samphire, re hydrated breadcrumbs,  anchovies, horseradish, mustard  and the lemon juice and zest to form a loose paste – you may need to add a splash or two of water. Season to taste
  2. Place 8 mackerel fillets skin-side down on a chopping board and divide the stuffing mixture between the fillets, spooning it over the flesh and spreading it on evenly. Then put the other half of the mackerel on top. Tie them together with kitchen string to roughly reform them to look like fish. Place them on a plate, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate for about an hour to firm up.
  3. When you’re ready to cook them, brush the fish with a little oil and cook under a hot grill or on a hot barbecue for 3-4 minutes per side until the skin is crisp and the flesh is cooked through. Alternatively, set a large, heavy frying pan over a medium heat and cook for 5 minutes per side. You may need to cook them in batches.
  4. While the fish is cooking, make the sauce. Heat the butter in a pan until it foams and goes a rich, golden brown. Add the lemon zest and juice, the garlic and then the parsley. Season and spoon on top of the fish. Serve with a potato salad or some plain rice with a few more sea herbs stirred through it.