Mackerel with seaweed cracker

This remarkable mackerel recipe is an exceptionally challenging dish from Adam Stokes, so ensure you have the specialist equipment before starting. The mackerel is marinated in lime juice and paired with a homemade seaweed cracker, making a brilliant seafood recipe.

First published in 2015




Ballotine of mackerel

Seaweed cracker

Garlic and lemon purée

Egg yolk purée

To plate


  • Water bath
  • Piping bag with a small plain nozzle
  • Dehydrator


Remove the mackerel head and fillet the fish. Slice along the pin bones and remove all bones in one action. Marinade the two fillets flesh side down in a marinade of salt, sugar, coriander seeds and lime zest (being careful not to get any marinade on the mackerel skin). Cover and place in the fridge
Freeze the bag after which the paste can be cut into rectangles. Place the rectangles into a dehydrator for four hours at 57˚C until dry
After one hour remove and wash the fillets. Dust lightly with transglutaminase on flesh side only and roll both fillets together, flesh sides touching, into a cylinder shape wrapping in cling film. Blanch in boiling water for 45 seconds, plunge into ice cold water and refrigerate
  • transglutaminase for dusting
Place all the seaweed cracker ingredients into a food processor and blitz into a paste. Place the paste into a vacuum packing back unsealed and use a rolling pin to flatten into a sheet a few millimetres thick
For the garlic and lemon purée, put the garlic cloves and lemon juice into a vacuum packing bag and seal. Place in a water bath for one hour at 90˚C. Open the bag and blitz the mixture adding salt to taste. Pass the purée and place in the fridge
Take the egg yolks and place into a vacuum pack bag, seal and place into the water bath for 50 minutes at 65˚C. Remove from the bath and pass the mixture into a piping bag (to prevent the egg from forming a skin). Leave the bag at room temperature
Peel and deseed the cucumber. Cut the flesh into small cubes, sprinkle with sea salt and freeze on a cling filmed tray for one hour. At this point the cells of the cucumber will have broken down. Rinse under cold water and refrigerate
Pipe the egg yolk purée onto the plate in small rounds. Assemble the cucumber, buckler leaf sorrel and chive flowers as shown in the picture. Drizzle the olive oil between the garnishes and the mackerel
First published in 2015

Adam Stokes has achieved a lot in his career so far – including a Michelin star in two out of his three cheffing jobs. From refined country cuisine in the lowlands of Scotland to more modern, inventive dishes at his own restaurant in the heart of Birmingham, the themes that remain strong are intense flavours, beautiful British ingredients, stunning presentation and intricate technique.

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