Makes: 1 pound
Prep Time: 5 minutes, overnight rest, 10 minutes
Fermentation Time: 24 hours, 1 to 2 weeks aging
Skill Level: Beginner
Fermented mackerel is a delightful dish when served either raw or pan-fried. Using a blend of spices and herbs, this simple seafood dish is suddenly teeming with the flavors of fennel and pepper in just a few short days. Refrigerate it longer to further age it and develop more complex flavors. Select high-quality mackerel or substitute whole sardines or anchovies for a different (but still delightful) dish.
- 1 pound filleted mackerel
- 5 teaspoons sea salt, divided
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons whey
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, diced
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Rinse the mackerel fillets in clean water and pat dry. Sprinkle the fillets on both sides with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt and place them on a plate, covered with cheesecloth. Refrigerate overnight.
- The following day, remove the cheesecloth and drain any liquid from the fish. Pat the fish dry using a paper towel or clean kitchen towel, and place it in a clean jar.
- Prepare the brine by combining the water, remaining 3. teaspoons salt, and all the other ingredients. Pour the brine over the fish.
- Weight down the fish to keep it submerged in the brine, cover the jar with cheesecloth, and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.
- The following day, place the lid on the jar and refrigerate the fish. The fillets will improve in flavor after about 1 or 2 weeks, and should be eaten within 1 month.
Mix 1 cup fermented mackerel with 1/2 cup crème fraiche, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a dash each of salt and pepper to create a quick and easy fish spread. Try it on crackers or in a sandwich for a refreshing, filling treat.
Also from DIY Fermentation:
- Fermented Tofu Recipe
- Shrimp Paste Recipe
- Ketchup Recipe
- Ranch Dressing Recipe
- Fermented Almond Milk Recipe
Reprinted with permission from DIY Fermentation: Over 100 Step-by-Step Home Fermentation Recipes by Katherine Green and published by Rockridge Press, 2015.