Fish of the month
Fillet of mackerel, shaved fennel salad and soy lime glaze
Recipe from Kitchen Secrets by Raymond Blanc. Mackerel is one of the most plentiful species of fish in our seas; it is also inexpensive and delicious. It can be prepared in many ways - as sushi, pickled, smoked, barbecued, grilled, baked, pan-fried or steamed - but to appreciate this fish at its best it must be very fresh. This little dish has the virtue of being very simple, and it is packed with flavours.
For the mackerel
4 Mackerel fillets (skin on)
For the glaze
1 tbsp Water 2 tbsp Soy sauce (Kikkoman brand)
1 tbsp Palm sugar or dark muscovado sugar
1 tsp Finely chopped fresh root ginger
1/2 tsp Lime juice
For the fennel salad
150g Fennel bulb, trimmed
15g Rocket leaves
1/4 Lime juice
4 tsp Extra virgin olive oil
1 pinch Sea salt
1 pinch Freshly ground white pepper
1 tsp Fennel seeds, soaked in warm water for 2 hours and toasted in a dry pan.
20 mins, plus 2 hours soaking fennel seeds. However to lend even more flavour to the fish, pickle it for 20 minutes before you grill it. You will need to prepare the pickling liquor a day in advance. - To prepare the pickling liquor, pour 250ml each white wine vinegar and water into a large saucepan and add 2 pinches of crushed pink peppercorns, a pinch of crushed toasted coriander seeds, a good pinch of sea salt, 40g caster sugar and 35g thinly sliced shallot or red onion. Bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and add 3-4 lemon slices and 10g coriander stalks. Leave to infuse at room temperature overnight. The next day, strain the pickling liquor and add the mackerel fillets. Leave in the fridge for 20 minutes, then remove the mackerel, pat dry and grill as below.
For the salad, remove the core from the fennel, then cut into wafer-thin slices, using a mandolin. Immerse in a bowl of iced water and set aside for 20 minutes, this will crisp and curl the fennel giving it great texture.