Cured mackerel, fermented gooseberries, elderflower

Michael Bremner serves cured mackerel with fermented gooseberries and a fresh, zingy elderflower dressing for a beautifully summery dish. He uses yoghurt whey to ferment the gooseberries, so you will need to plan ahead for this dish. Follow Michael's guide to making whey for best results.

First published in 2018




Cured mackerel

Fermented gooseberries

Elderflower dressing


  • Blender
  • Fish tweezers


Wash the gooseberries, remove any stalks and place in a sterile sealable container. Pour in the whey, ensuring the berries are completely submerged, and seal the container. Store at room temperature for at least 7 days
On the day of serving, fillet the mackerel (you can ask your fishmonger to do this for you, if preferred), season with salt and sugar and set aside to cure for 1 hour
Meanwhile, make the elderflower dressing. Blend the citrus juices with the chilli and cucumber until smooth and pass through a fine sieve
Season with elderflower cordial to taste – it’s best to use around 25ml to start, then add more if needed. Add the xanthan gum and blend again until hydrated to thicken the mixture
  • elderflower cordial, 25–50ml
  • 1.5g of xanthan gum
Drain a handful of the fermented gooseberries from the whey and pat dry. Cut into slices and set aside
Peel away the fine skin of each mackerel fillet and remove any pin bones. Trim the fillets to neaten. To serve, slice the mackerel into thin slices (1cm maximum) at a 45 degree angle. Arrange on plates, dress with the elderflower dressing and garnish with fermented gooseberries and nasturtium leaves
First published in 2018

Few chefs cooking today are as exciting as Michael Bremner, who takes flavours from all over the world and distills them into beautiful small plates of deliciousness at his acclaimed restaurant in Brighton.

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