Mackerel, horseradish snow and cucumber purée

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This mackerel with horseradish snow recipe from Steven Smith offers a modernist take on some classic flavour combinations, with mackerel, horseradish and cucumber combining to eye-catching effect.

First published in 2015





Horseradish snow

Cucumber purée

Sauce vierge


  • Food processor or blender
  • Muslin cloth
  • Juicer
  • Fine chinoise
  • Blowtorch


For the horseradish snow, add all of the ingredients to a medium-sized pan and bring to the boil, whisking lightly. Remove from the heat, allow to cool and season to taste with a pinch of salt
Pass through a fine sieve, transfer to a container and freeze. Once ready to serve, remove from the freezer and break up in a food processor
For the cucumber purée, juice the cucumbers and set aside. Bring the apple juice to a rolling boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for up to 1 hour, or until the apple juice has reduced down to a syrup
Add half of the cucumber juice to a pan and bring to the boil, whisking in the agar agar until completely incorporated. Add the apple juice syrup and whisk for 10 seconds, then pour into a lined baking tray. Set aside and allow to cool
  • 10g of agar agar
Once cool, add to a food processor, along with the salt and the remaining cucumber juice. Blitz with the xanthan gum until incorporated, then pass through a fine sieve lined with muslin. Set aside until ready to serve
  • 5g of salt
  • 1g of xanthan gum
For the compressed cucumber strips, peel the cucumber, then continue to peel away the flesh with a mandoline, so you are left with strips of seedless cucumber flesh. With the remaining cucumber, discard the seeds, finely dice the flesh and store in the fridge - this will be used in the tartare later on. Lay the strips flat in a vac pac bag and seal in a chamber vacuum sealer on a low pressure. Allow the cucumber to compress for 1 hour
For the sauce vierge, simply combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, toss to coat and set aside until ready to serve
To prepare the mackerel, remove the fillets from the fish and cut into 4 even portions, ensuring there are no pin bones left in the flesh. Set the fillets aside. Remove the skin and bloodline (dark flesh) from the mackerel trimmings and dice into 0.5cm chunks. Set aside in the fridge until ready to serve
Remove the mackerel from the fridge 20 minutes before cooking. Pat dry, add a small dash of oil to the skin and place in a hot pan, skin-side down for 30-60 seconds. Blowtorch the flesh-side lightly, flip the mackerel and blowtorch again to blacken the skin slightly. Season with salt and finish with a small dash of lemon juice
To serve, remove the cucumber strips from the vac pac bag and place flat on the work surface. Mix the chopped mackerel with a dash lemon juice, chives, mint, a small dash of the cucumber purée and some diced cucumber. Season to taste with salt
Use the tartare mix to fill the cucumber strips and roll into 4 separate 'cannelloni'. Add a small bed of sauce vierge to each plate, followed by rings of the cucumber purée. Place the mackarel fillets on the plate, followed by the 'tartare cannelloni' and horseradish snow. Finish with edible flowers (optional) and microcress. Serve immediately

Steven Smith may be trend-averse but he is certainly not risk-averse, his cuisine embraces tradition without being consumed by it.

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