Recipe: Healthy Mackerel with Soy, Lime and Ginger Glaze

Model Healthy Recipes

In my defence, it’s actually quite hard to make pictures of food look good. I now understand why there are such things as food stylists – people who spray the cooked chicken with car paint and disgusting oil concoctions to make it look delicious. I worked with a still-life photographer once who sometimes took “food” jobs and he said that the amount of food-faffing before a shot was unbelievable. Most of the time the food wasn’t even edible after the stylists had worked their magic!

Anyway, to cut a long story short: sorry about the slightly less-than-appetising photo! This delicious mackerel salad looks a lot more scrumptious on film, so watch the video below for the full method. I’ve also printed the instructions below the video pane for those who are allergic to watching me or hearing my voice. (Ha!)

This is a brilliant summer recipe and one for which I cannot take any credit – it’s a dish that I prepared when I went to the Raymond Blanc Cookery School. (If you click that link it takes you to the post about my cookery school experience.)  As mentioned in the video, I use frozen mackerel for convenience – it’s actually frozen whilst extremely fresh, so no harm done. It’s the only way you’re ever going to get me to remember to buy mackerel, at any rate, so it’s a good job that it is available as frozen fillets! These ones are from Waitrose (£4-ish for four fillets) and you can grill them from frozen, no defrosting needed.

Enjoy for lunch, light dinner, starter, snack, whatever. Not dessert, for obvious reasons. Unless you’re a cat…

Link to more food-related posts

Recipe: serves 1 for lunch or light LIGHT supper!

2 Mackerel Fillets (I use frozen from Waitrose!)
Baby Fennel Bulb, Trimmed, or a bit of a large Fennel
Rocket Leaves
Lime Juice Olive Oil
Tiny bit of salt

1 Tbsp Water
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Palm Sugar
1/2 Tbsp Lime Juice
Tiny bit of chopped fresh ginger (optional if you hate ginger but it DOES make the recipe what it is!)

1) Put your mackerel fillets onto an oiled piece of foil on a baking tray and place under a hot grill. Set the timer for about 10-12 mins (a lot less if they are fresh, unfrozen fillets!) but remember you will have to keep checking them. Put them in with the skin facing UP towards the hot grill elements and then turn when the skin is crisped up.

2) Whilst all that grilling is happening, make your glaze. Put the soy and sugar into a little saucy-pan and put over a low heat until tje sugar starts to dissolve. Stirry-stirry with the spoon. Add ginger and lime and the tablespoon of water. Turn off heat once sugar has dissolved.

3) Put rocket leaves on the plate. (EASY.) Shave fennel – you want about a third of a baby fennel’s worth, or about enough to make a little heap on top of the rocket. Just look at the video and see how much I did, that’s easier than me explaining it!

4) Use a mandolin (not the instrument, the kitchen tool!) to shave the fennel or you can use a vegetable peeler. Watch your digits! Dress salad with little olive oil and lots of lime juice or other way around depending on how sharp you like your dressing! Tiny pinch of salt (the soy in the glaze is salty enough) and a grind of pepper.

5 Once mackerel is cooked (it will be, but check middle if you are using frozen) place on top of the leaves and arrange in a nice formation. Drizzle with the glaze really neatly if you have company or just plop it on if you’re alone. Save half the glaze in a little pot for when you next make the salad (so long as it’s within a couple of days) or halve the amount shown above.

6) Eat it.

© 2018 A Model Recommends®: all opinions are my own and any sponsored or paid posts will always be clearly marked as an AD in the title. I accept press samples and receive product and services to review as part of my job. *Outbound links are affiliate links, which means that I receive a very small percentage of any sale made. This does not affect my content in any way and does not cost you anything, but you are most welcome to Google the products on a new page if you prefer. Please see here for full "about" section and disclaimer. A Model Recommends and Ruth Crilly are registered trademarks.



  1. July 12, 2012 / 6:56 am

    Ok, this is going to sound REALLY stupid, but does mackerel have a strong fish taste? Do you recommend it for those who have a hard time eating fish? I only eat salmon once a week because of the health benefits. (So ironic since my son is in aquaculture: I swear he went into to “get” to me! So, I dare not ask him! ;))
    Thanks, Ruth!

    • Ruth
      July 12, 2012 / 10:20 am

      No, but it REALLY smells the house out! xx

  2. July 12, 2012 / 9:22 am

    My tummy is quite literally growling now…this looks delicious! I’m really craving something light and healthy right now. Might have to try this tomorrow night!

  3. Allison
    July 12, 2012 / 10:05 am

    I made this the other night after watching your video. It was very mummy and so quick and easy to do. Looking forward to any other recipes you have to share :)

  4. July 12, 2012 / 10:37 am

    Sounds delicous and I agree taking pretty pictures of food is near impossible for non-food stylists I often just give up and will use a stock photo haha

  5. Nienke
    July 12, 2012 / 8:05 pm

    I’ve tried this tonight and it was great! However next time I’m going to try it with low salt soy sauce since the fish is already a bit salty anyway.

  6. Suu
    July 13, 2012 / 12:56 am

    Hi Ruth! I’ve been following you for a long time and I was just too shy to post.. I love the recipe tips for healthy eating! I was also fascinated by your posts on the Educo diet and gym experience.

    Currently, I’m in grad school and also working. Gyms are very expensive where I am.. can you please post tips on how to keep in shape for those who for whatever reason cannot make it to an actual gym? I was a rugby athlete during undergrad, and worked out a lot at the free gym on campus. Now that college is finished I’m getting soft…>_< …

    • Ruth
      July 13, 2012 / 11:30 am

      30 day shred! It’s amazing!!! Video on Amazon xxx – PS, never be too shy to post – come and share the love! ; )

  7. Clair
    July 13, 2012 / 4:22 pm

    This looks delicious Ruth – I’ve made both of your others, so can’t wait to try this. Keep them coming – I’m a real foodie and love this new addition to your website. PS was also converted to the 30 day shred a couple of months ago – i agree, it is truly body changing and quicker than my runs – always a massive plus!

    • Ruth
      July 13, 2012 / 4:38 pm

      Good good! x

  8. neha
    July 15, 2012 / 8:44 pm

    i love it when u post recipes.

  9. Rene Ng
    July 25, 2012 / 8:00 pm

    Fail. The fishmonger had no mackerel, and I didn’t trust the Jamie Oliver in me to choose a substitute, even with Google’s help.

    This also makes me miss British supermarkets. North American ones are rubbish at packaged/portioned food, unless it’s processed junk, so I could not even find frozen filets.

    Another time, mackerel?

    • Sihouette
      August 11, 2012 / 6:44 pm

      Hey Rene,

      I also didn’t find any mackerel and took another frozen fish which was ok. The recipe itself is brilliant, it was just the fish!

      But this also tastes very very good with brown mushrooms. Just fry some diced ones in the pan with little oil and then add the glaze at the end. Cover the mushrooms with the glaze and then pour it all on the salad!

      Would also recommend this to all vegetarians, it’s really tasty with mushrooms, too!

      Have a nice weekend,

  10. August 30, 2012 / 12:58 pm

    I’ve stumbled across this a bit late, but it looks soooo good I’m off to get some mackerel right now!! Yummy!!

  11. Aurora
    November 2, 2012 / 2:33 pm

    So you just put the mackerel on the foil, in the oven at 230 for 12 minutes, with no sauce or water or spice?

  12. Ninihannah
    November 2, 2012 / 9:55 pm

    Mackerel+garlic+lemon+fennel, salad + fennel! Yum!!!! My BF is in love with both of us, how could I forget fennel for so long?

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