Marinated Mackerel

Caballa en Escabeche

Servings: 8 as a starter

Prep Time: 24 hours [PT24H]

Cook Time: 20 min [PT20M]


4-1/2 lbs fresh mackerel

1 oz flour

Olive oil

10 cloves garlic, slivered

4 bay leaves

1 sprig thyme

1/2 tsp oregano

2 cloves

10 peppercorns

2 tsp pimentón

1 red chili, or red pepper flakes (optional)

1 carrot, peeled and sliced

1/2 onion, sliced stem to root

1 cup white wine

1 cup water

1 cup sherry vinegar

2 tsp salt


Clean the fish and cut it into thick (1 1/2 inches) crosswise slices. Dust the pieces lightly with flour and fry them in just enough hot oil to cover the bottom of a frying pan. Remove them when they are browned on both sides and cooked through and transfer to a glass or crockery container with a lid.

Strain the oil to remove bits of flour. Return it to the pan with an additional 6 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the garlic, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, cloves, peppercorns, paprika, chili, carrot, and onion and cook gently for 2 minutes. Add the wine, water, vinegar, and salt. Cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly, then pour over the fish. Cover and marinate, refrigerated, for at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.

Serve the fish, drained, at room temperature garnished with pieces of carrots and onions from the marinade, tomatoes, lettuce, and olives. Drizzle with a little additional marinade. Boiled potatoes can accompany the fish, with the marinade as dressing.

Recipe courtesy of Spain GourmeTour magazine

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