Wednesday, 6 May 2015

#ewew cooks Pan-Fried Mackerel with Courgette & Tomato Salad

After making a Mackerel Bento (the last time) with my 'newly discovered' frozen mackerel fillets, there was still another packet in my freezer (coz I bought 2 packets at one go).
I thought a crispy skin mackerel would be nice and decided to pan-fry the mackerel fillets and make a simple, gorgeous salad to go with it.  So, here's my version of Pan-Fried Mackerel with Courgette & Tomato Salad that makes an ideal diet meal as there are less carbs on the plate....yippee! ;-D
3 slices of mackerel fillet (from 1 1/2 fillets)
1/2 a small green zucchini
1/2 a small yellow zucchini
8 cherry tomatoes (red & yellow)
1/4 of a red chilli
1 clove of garlic
2 sprigs Chinese coriander (or parsley)
Extra virgin olive oil
Squeeze of lemon juice
Salt & black pepper

Season the 3 slices of mackerel fillet with salt and black pepper.  [#Note: One packet of frozen mackerel fillet yields 6 half pcs of fillet (from 3 fillets) and is sufficient for 2 people.]
Using a vegetable peeler, peel long strips off half a green and yellow zucchini (or courgettes).  You can just use one type of zucchini but, obviously, the use of green and yellow here is for the contrast of colours.
Finely chop the 1/4 red chilli (deseeded), garlic clove and Chinese coriander (or you can use parsley).
Make a vinaigrette with extra virgin olive oil, finely diced garlic, a good squeeze of lemon juice and salt and black pepper to taste.  Shake well to combine.
Cut the cherry tomatoes into 2 and add chopped coriander (or parsley).  Put half of the vinaigrette into this and let it sit for a while for the flavours to amalgamate.  [#Tip: I've never liked tomatoes (to begin with) but these ones I got (the other day) were fresh, firm, sweet and juicy.  I liked them so much that I'm beginning to like tomatoes, so I'm going to get the same brand (in future) and hope the sweetness is not just one-off.]
Pan-fry the mackerel fillets in extra virgin olive oil, skin side down to crisp up the skin.  Once done, flip the fish over and brown the other side.  As these fillets are rather thin, it takes just mere mins on each side.

Put the green and yellow zucchini ribbons into a bowl.  Add in the finely diced red chilli and put in the balance half of the vinaigrette.  Toss well.  This is a gorgeous and vibrant looking salad inspired by Jamie Oliver.
To plate up, pile the zucchinis onto the centre of the plate.

Place 2 slices of crispy-skin mackerel fillets on top (if you happen to be a small eater).
But I need 3 slices of crispy-skin mackerel fillet....hee...hee! ;)
Serve the tomato salad on the side.  You can omit the tomato salad if you like but just because I had some leftover in the fridge, I took inspiration from a dish I had in Press Room Bistro where a side of tomato salad was served with some cured meat (of course, that one tasted a lot better than mine probably because of the quality of the extra virgin olive oil used).
Here's my Pan-Fried Mackerel Fillets with Courgette & Tomato Salad....hope that it makes you want to try this at home!  And this is my lame attempt at trying to plate it up like a pro (but fail miserably) giving it height....but ended up *senget one* (lopsided)! ;D
Recipe serves 1 (but 1 packet of frozen mackerel fillet is sufficient for 2 - 3 pax)


  1. I love mackerel, even if it's done the simplest way, old-school style...rub with salt and fry in oil. I usually cut lines, dunno why - follow my mum...maybe so that the oil will get inside or the fish will cook more quickly? I love it cooked nyonya asam style or curry too...add brinjal, ladies fingers and all.

    1. This is Atlantic (frozen) mackerel which I think is quite different from our local mackerel (or ikan kembong)...still can fry it old-school style (I love it that way too) but cannot cook assam style lah! :D Ooo...I love ikan kembong assam style! And the lines on the fish...yeah, you're right, it's to get the oil inside the fish and crisp it up even further and it also allows the fish to cook more quickly.

  2. What a very tasty meal - just the kind I like but I will never cook this at home because I don't want to use oil to pan fry any food. I will just poach or steam the mackerel.

    I like to eat cherry tomatoes and zucchinis. Your zucchinis ribbons look so pretty, too pretty to be eaten. You are so patient to peel them nicely and carefully to become ribbons.

    1. Actually, the zucchini ribbons are very easy to do. I watched Jamie Oliver do it once and realised that it was so simple. You just need a fruit or vegetable peeler and run that through the zucchini from top to bottom and you have your zucchini ribbons already. No peeling required, otherwise you don't get the nice skin colour on the outside of your ribbons ;)

  3. oi, zucchini and tomatoes both still have carbs la ... not zero just yet! but nvm, don't mind the carbs, cos your recipe looks delicious :D

    1. Thanks for pointing that out, Sean...I've made the amendment to reflect the truth! :D I'd like to think that vegetables and fruits have no carbs whenever I'm eating them (but actually got lah, just so little it doesn't count! ;D)

  4. The other day I bought a packet of mackerel fillet too, but I found those fillets are full of bones. Although they are nice, I won't be buying them anymore. :/

    1. Yes, the fillets do have some bones especially near the belly but I don't mind it. But for a lazy man eating a lazy man's dish, I can understand why you won't deal with any bones in your food...much like why you'd rather eat chicken breast, I think! :D


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