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Grilled Mackerel with Sumac | Quick Midweek Treat |

Grilled Mackerel with Sumac

Grilled Mackerel with Sumac is a really quick and easy mid-week supper. You can have it on the table within 30 minutes.  Its a popular dish in our house as the tangy taste is sublime and there is very little prep and therefore very little cleaning up after supper. A winner all round in my book. We served the Grilled mackerel with Fennel and Orange Salad | Refreshing and Zesty

Grilled Mackerel with Sumac

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By Marc Spendlove-Kruger Serves: 2
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Grilled whole mackerel with tangy sumac and a summery orange and fennel salad


  • 2 whole mackerel, gutted and cleaned but kept whole
  • 2 Tbsp Ground Sumac
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Season with salt and Pepper
  • Seeds from half a pomegranate (for garnish so optional)



Set an overhead oven grill to hot.


Take the mackerel and score through the skin and almost down to the bone. (Make four or five slashes, depending on the size of your fish, 2 or 3cm apart)


Lay the fish on a foil-lined grill pan. Leave plenty of space between them.


Mix together the olive oil ground sumac to form a this paste.


Season lightly with salt and pepper


Spoon the dressing over the fish, letting it trickle down into the flesh through the score lines.


Place the fish under the grill, about 20cm from the heat, and leave to cook for about 8 minutes, watching carefully.


Slice open a pomegranate and pull out the seeds and add to the Orange and Fennel Salad


When the mackerel is cooked, its skin a mixture of shining silver, burnished gold and black bits caught in the heat, remove it and serve with the orange Fennel and pomegranate salad.


If you have time, let the mackerel sit for a while in the sumac dressing before you grill it.

A Bit About Sumac

Sumac is crimson coloured ground spice, popular in Middle Eastern Cuisine. It is one of the most useful but least known and most underappreciated. It has an appealing lemon-lime tartness that can be widely used and immediately enhances dishes, giving a fascinating and exotic twist.Try in on Roast Chicken, Fish Dishes or sprinkle on chips just prior to serving.

Chefs Note

If you can’t get whole Mackerel you could cook the fish in fillets. Cook them skin side up and brush regularly with the dressing as they cook.

Wine Matching

We are huge fans of South African Chenin Blanc. Kruger Family Old Vines Chenin Blanc 2018 is superb and complimented the richness of the Grilled Mackerel with Sumac really well. The taste is fresh, delicate, yet powerful and rich all at the same time. This was love at first sip. I’ve already ordered more. Available from Naked Wines. 

If fish is your thing, they our other fish dishes:

Roasted Salmon with Pistachio Crust | A Sicilian Treat

Fish and Butter Bean Stew | Spanish Fiesta |

Smoked Mackerel Pate | Dairy Free and Gluten Free |

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