Mackerel served two ways
This is a great way to push the boundaries a bit if you have an abundance of fish and want a change from the plain grilled fish. This dish draws on Japanese influences and combines spiced mackerel patties with crunchy breadcrumbed mackerel skewers. I've used stonecrop here as an optional extra – it's a wild coastal vegetable that has a fantastic texture and flavour, rather similar to jasmine flowers. If you can't get hold of any, don't worry.
4 small- to medium-sized mackerel, filleted and boned
2tbsp chopped chives
1 small mild green chilli, finely chopped
2tsp finely grated ginger
Flour for dusting
1 egg, beaten
20-30g fresh white or panko breadcrumbs
Vegetable or corn oil for deep frying
8 short bamboo skewers
A small handful of Asian leaves and herbs such as coriander, mizuna, pea shoots etc
A couple of teaspoons of soy sauce (or Kecap Manis)
Stonecrop or jasmine flowers (optional)
2 spring onions, finely shredded on the angle
Remove the skin from 4 of the mackerel fillets and finely chop them. Mix with the chilli, chives and ginger and season. Mould into 8 balls, then flatten them into patties with the help of a spatula or a palette knife and refrigerate.
Cut the other 4 fillets in half lengthways. Thread each of the pieces on to the ends of the skewers. Have three bowls ready, one with the flour seasoned, one with beaten egg and the third with the breadcrumbs. Pass the mackerel through the flour, shaking off any excess, then put them through the egg and finally the breadcrumbs.
Preheat about 8cm of oil to 160-180C in a large, thick-bottomed saucepan or electric deep-fat fryer. Heat a frying pan with a little vegetable oil and pan-fry the mackerel patties for a minute or so on each side. Meanwhile, deep-fry the mackerel skewers for a minute or so and drain on some kitchen paper.
To serve, arrange all of the ingredients on individual plates, or one large one.
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