Mackerel: “The Perfect Fish!”
I’ve always called Atlantic Mackerel a true “fish lovers” fish because it has dark flesh with lots of fat and flavor that many shy away from. Mackerel has an undeserved bad reputation as a greasy, strong, “fishy-tasting” fish, but to me its the perfect fish in every way.
Good fresh mackerel has full flavor but a nice sweetness to it. I love it’s taste and richness that holds up to almost any bold and flavorful preparation. Mackerel is great with acidic sauces with citrus, tomatoes or capers. It’s perfect for teriyaki with scallions. Curry and mackerel is a great taste. Blackened, broiled with smoked Spanish paprika, miso marinated, pickled for sushi (shime Saba), baked with Swedish mustard dill sauce or chipotle pepper sauce? You name it! It’s bold flavor makes it a great fish to simply bake, broil, steam, pan sear or grill with nothing but a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper.
Another great thing about mackerel is that it’s one of the most pure (low in mercury, PCBs and other contaminates) and healthful fish in the sea. Full of omega 3 fatty acids,which helps reduce fat in your arteries and lower cholsesterol, boost brain development,l essen the risk of depression and asthma, to name a few. It’s also high in minerals, vitamin B-12, vitamin D and selenium. Purity and goodness, the perfect health food.
Our north Atlantic mackerel stocks are plentiful and sustainable. At the end of the 19th century, the demand for canned mackerel put alot of pressure on the stocks to the point of overfishing. Conservation measures and the enactment of the 200 mile helped bring stocks back to a healthy level. Fishing methods in our north Atlantic for mackerel are very Eco-friendly. Low-impact gear like midwater trawls that target these fish don’t do any damage to the sea floor.
You would think that a fish with so much going for it might be a bit pricy but because mackerel are plentiful and not that popular in the U.S. (yet), they are one of the best priced values available. Flavor, versatile with endless recipe possibilities, sustainable, super-healthful and inexpensive—Mackerel IS the perfect fish.