Mackerel confit, cucumber tartare and lemon sherbet dressing

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This exemplary mackerel recipe calls for the fillet to be cured in an assortment of tangy citrus fruits, drawing the fresh, unctuous taste out of the mackerel. The refreshing flavour of cucumber brings further character to this elegant seafood course. Luke Holder's 'lemon sherbet' dressing adds a unique twist to the mackerel confit.

First published in 2016




Citrus cured mackerel

Cucumber tartare

Lemon sherbet dressing

  • 30ml of lemon juice
  • 100g of icing sugar
  • 70ml of lemon infused olive oil

To plate


Trim the top and tails off the mackerel fillets to make each one into a neat oblong, reserving the off cuts for the tartare. Lay in a non-reactive dish, skin side down
Preheat the water bath to 42°C
Mix the coriander, zest of all the fruits, sugar, salt, white pepper, star anise and peppercorns. Cover the fillets with the citrus cure for 12 minutes. Wash off and pat dry.
Place the mackerel flat in a vacuum bag with a tbsp olive oil and seal. Cook for 17 minutes and leave to cool
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
Skin and finely dice the off-cuts from the mackerel. Blanch the shallots lightly in boiling water. Mix the tartare of mackerel, shallots and diced cucumber and season
Mix the lemon juice, icing sugar and lemon oil and use to dress the tartare
  • 30ml of lemon juice
  • 100g of icing sugar
  • 70ml of lemon infused olive oil
Spoon the tartare into the centre of 4 dishes and surround it with rocket cress. Lay the mackerel fillets on top and serve
First published in 2016

Luke Holder comes by his taste for ultra-authentic local cuisine honestly: he's spent large chunks of his career soaking up regional techniques in far-flung parts of the world.

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