Recipe of the week: BBQ mackerel, roasted cucumber, soy and dill dressing

This is a delicious and light dish perfect for this time of year with Spring firmly in the air. The mackerel works really well with the cucumber because, by roasting it, it highlights the nice, smoky flavour. The soy sauce also brings out the umami, and brings an Oriental feel to the dish. Serves 4.

BBQ mackerel, roasted cucumber, soy and dill dressing


4 Mackerel Fillets (skin on, pin boned)
2 tbsp soy dressing
2 tbsp dill oil

Soy dressing

2 cloves garlic
100ml rapeseed oil
30ml soy sauce
5ml nam pla fish sauce
100ml olive oil
20ml mirin

Dill oil

100g fresh dill
200ml rapeseed oil


8 baby heritage tomatoes
1-2 tbsp soy dressing


4 rectangular pieces of cucumber
8 ribbons of cucumber
1-2 tbsp dill oil


4 baby globe artichokes (peeled)
1 tsp lemon juice


Salad leaves
Olive oil caviar
Barbecue and coals


For the soy dressing (make ahead)

Mix the ingredients and gently warm the dressing to around 70c for 3 hours and leave to infuse and cool.

For the dill oil (make ahead)

Blanch and refresh the dill then place into oil and warm to around 70c for two hours and leave it to infuse

To prepare the tomatoes

Blanch the tomatoes for 30 seconds in boiling water and refresh in cold water. Remove from the water and marinate in soy dressing for around 30 minutes.

For the baby artichokes

Cook the baby artichokes with lemon juice in water for 12-15 minutes until soft. Cool in the liquid. When cool, halve and remove heart from the centre. Place in with the tomatoes when ready to marinate.

For the roast cucumber

Cut the cucumber into four 13cm pieces and roast in a dry pan for 3 minutes to gain colour. Add some oil and cook for a further 3 minutes to soften. Do not overcook or they will become mushy.

To make the cucumber ribbons

Peel the cucumber into ribbons with a peeler, salt for two minutes, pat dry and marinate in a little olive oil.

To prepare the herring

Marinate the herring in a mixture of dill oil and soy dressing before barbecuing. Cook over the coals for around 3-4 minutes, making sure the fish does not overcook.

Chef’s tip

To get a really crispy skin on the mackerel without over cooking the fish, finish the skin with a blow torch. It also helps with the flavour.

To finish

Place the herring on the place and dress with the tomatoes and roasted cucumber. Foil the ribbons and finish the dish with the artichokes and a leaves. Dress with both oil and soy dressing and some olive oil and caviar.

Thank you to James Sommerin, Head Chef at Restaurant James Sommerin, Penarth, Wales, for the recipe.

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Comments (2)

  1. LIssa says:

    Great recipe. I love your garnish. It’s so fancy and neat.

  2. Maja says:

    looks delicious! Mackerel is a tasty fish but I ate it mostly smoked…

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