Product of the week – Spotted Mackerel

Scomberomorus munroi

Other names:

Spotty.

Family:

Scombridae (mackerels).

Description:

Available wild-caught, it is a marine fish schooling in open waters and sometimes moving in to inshore bays and estuaries. Similar to School mackerel but with smaller spots, it is found around most of Australia, except the southern coast from Bunbury (WA) to Newcastle (NSW), and caught mainly off Queensland by trolling and line fishing near reefs.Season:

Available year round.

Size and Weight:

Commonly 1.6-4kg and 50-80cm, but can grow to about 10kg and 104cm.

Price:

Medium priced.

Relations:

Mackerels (Blue, Frigate, Grey, School, Shark, Spanish), Bonito, Tunas.

To Buy:

Sold mainly as cutlets and steaks. In cutlets and steaks look for bright cream-coloured, firm, lustrous, moist flesh without any dark brown markings or oozing water and with a pleasant fresh sea smell.

To Store:

Make sure whole fish is scaled, gutted and cleaned thoroughly. Wrap whole fish, fillets and cutlets in plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 2 days (it is best eaten as fresh as possible) or freeze for up to 3 months below -18ºC.

To Cook:

Average yield is 40%. Has a strong, distinctly ‘fishy’ flavour, medium to very high oiliness and medium-dry, firm flesh. Usually sold skinned, it has few bones, which are easily removed. Score thick fillets at the thickest part of the flesh to allow even heat penetration.

Cooking Methods:

Pan-fry, bake, grill, barbecue, smoke, pickle.

Goes well with:

Strong flavours, bay, basil, citrus, curry, garlic, mustard, onion, oregano, pepper, red wine, tomatoes, vinegar.

Alternatives:

Other Mackerels, Bonito, Striped Marlin, Swordfish, Tunas.

Imports:

None, though Spanish, Atlantic (Scomber scrombus), and occasionally Chub (Scomber japonicus), Mackerels are imported frozen, whole and in fillets, smoked and canned in various forms (such as rollmops).

Recipes:

Char-grilled Fish Kebabs > 
Kokoda (Fijian Raw Fish Salad) >
Moroccan-style Grey Mackerel with Garlic & Yoghurt Sauce >
Spanish Mackerel Cutlets with Warm Lentil & Preserved Lemon Salad > 12

Post credit | Sydney Fish Market

Pickled Mackerel

serves 4 as an entree

Ingredients
Japanese table salt, as required
4 x 75-150 g (2 1/2-5 1/2 oz) mackerel fillets, skin on, pin-boned
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) Japanese rice vinegar
light Japanese soy sauce, to serve


Method
Sprinkle a layer of salt over the base of a deep stainless-steel tray. Lay the mackerel fillets on top, ensuring the side touching the sale is coated liberally, then turn and salt the other side, adding more salt as required. Cover the tray with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. Remove the fish from the fridge and rinse the salt off quickly under cold running water.

Place the fillets in a non-reactive dish and add the rice vinegar. Cover once again with plastic wrap and leave the fish at room temperature for 20 minutes to pickle. Remove the fish from the pickling liquid.

Place the first fillet on a cutting board and, using a tissue, wipe off the thin membrane (known as the ‘second skin’). Repeat with the second fillet.

Cut the mackerel into 1 cm (1/2 in) thick slices – you should get around 32 slices. Lay the slices on a serving platter or across four serving plates.


Recipe Credit | Australian Fish & Seafood Cookbook | Susman, Huckstep, Swan & Hodges

  • Heaps of choice of fresh fish to cook at home. We got the $35 family basket – nice variety, plenty to eat, fast service, great taste. A good way to end a day out in the town before heading home again.

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  • We came to buy a selection of fish and seafood for a BBQ later that day. The choice was first class, and the service good. The fish was very fresh, and we enjoyed the snapper cutlets, the marlin steak and the prawns. Delicious!

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  • Service at the Co-Op is friendly and helpful and the fish is MAGNIFICENTLY FRESH. If you have a special occasion coming up, the cooked lobster is absolutely delicious.

    “LOVE THE CO-OP” – Visited March 2017

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