Marinated Mackerel with Raki

Marinated Mackerel with Raki

This recipe is inspired by the Spanish recipe Escabeche, an old method of preserving fresh fish with an acidic and aromatic marinade. I have added Raki to the marinade to give an aniseedy Eastern Mediterranean kick. If you cant get hold of Raki feel free to use ouzo or arak instead.

2 Red Onions
6tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
6tbsp Sherry Vinegar
1tsp Chili Flakes
2tsp Coriander Seed
1tsp Black Peppercorns
2tbsp Sugar
5 Bay Leaves
1 pinch of Saffron (optional)
200ml White Wine
50ml Raki (if you don’t have raki you can use ouzo, or arak instead)
4 large fresh Mackerel fillets
2 big fresh Chilies or 1 small ones
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Bread and Salad to serve

Finely slice the onions and place in a saucepan with a glug of olive oil and fry for about 5-10 minutes on a medium heat until soft and translucent, do not let them burn. Add the vinegars, chilli flakes, coriander seed, black pepper, sugar, bay leaves, 1tsp salt, saffron, white wine and raki and gently simmer on a low heat for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, fry your mackerel fillets skin-side down for about 1 minute until then place in a deep dish flesh side down (the acids in the marinate will cook the rest of the fish). Roughly chop the fresh chili and scatter over the mackerel then pour over the raki marinade and leave to cool and infuse. This should take a couple of hours.

You can eat the mackerel after 2 hours or you can cover and leave in the fridge overnight to eat the next day. Serve with lots of bread and a big fresh salad, preferably with cucumber.

Photography by the lovely Vladimir Studenic

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