mackerel escaceche-rootsandcook

Mackerel Escabeche

If I had to explain the flavour of Mackerel Escabeche would be an explosion of vinegar and herbs. A soft and tender fish cooked in low heat, with vinegar, oil, thyme, rosemary, pepper…

Escabeche is a traditional way to marinate and cook fish or meat with vinegar and oil. It is an ancient way to preserve food and it tastes better if you cook it 3-4 days in advance. I love it with fish but it can be done with meat; chicken escabeche on a salad is also amazing. I will write that recipe in a different post as it is a bit different to this recipe.

It is an easy and rather quick recipe to add it to a salad or to make a different and fresh starter if you have friends and family over. If you like a good hint of vinegar in your dishes this is a must.

Best season to eat Mackerel is in Autumn as it is when it is at its fattiest and tastiest.

How to eat this mackerel escabeche:

For me the best way to eat it is to make a nice salad and add the vegetables and the mackerel on top of it. Use the infused oil as dressing. The marinated vegetables, tender and with the vinegar hint are amazing.

Mackerel Escabeche

Recipe by Enara ParraCourse: Salads, fishCuisine: MediterraneanDifficulty: Medium


Prep time




  • 4 mackerel fillets (2 mackerel)

  • 400 ml olive oil

  • 200 ml of white vinegar

  • 2 garlic cloves

  • 1 onion

  • 2 carrots

  • 1 leek

  • 2 thyme sprig

  • 1 rosemary sprig

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 10-12 black peppercorns

  • salt


  • Cut the onion, the carrots and the leek into thin slices.
  • Pour 4 tablespoons of olive oil into a medium size pot at medium heat.
  • Cook the onion, carrots, leeks and garlic until they get soft, around 5 mins.
  • Add all the herbs, black pepper and a bit of salt.
  • Add the rest of the olive oil and the vinegar.
  • Cover the pot with the lid and wait until starts boiling.
  • Ones starts boiling lower the heat and cook for 40 mins. Keep the lid as otherwise the vinegar will evaporate.
  • When the vegetables are cooked, remove them from heat.
  • Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick pan at high heat.
  • Season the mackerel fillets with salt add them to the pan with the skin-side up. Cook just from the meat part for 1 min.
  • Place the fillets in the pot, with the skin side down. Make sure to cover the fillets with the oil. Close the lid. The fish will be cooked with the remaining heat.
  • When the escabeche is complete cold transfer it a large tupper. Keep it in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days before eating it. It will taste better.
  • Before eating it, leave it at room temperature for 2 hours so will not be that cold.


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