Scorched Scottish mackerel, pickled cucumber and Lilliput capers

Alex Povall

Alex Povall

30th November 2017
Alex Povall

Scorched Scottish mackerel, pickled cucumber and Lilliput capers

This recipe for Scorched Scottish mackerel, pickled cucumber and Lilliput capers is available from the menu at The Oysterman Seafood Bar & Kitchen. Photography by Greg Funnell


  • 1x whole Scottish mackerel, filleted and pin-boned
  • For the cure:
  • 200g fine salt
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 2 fresh limes, cut into quarters
  • For the dressing:
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 100g Chardonnay vinegar
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 20g dry dill
  • 20g Lilliput capers, rinsed
  • Fine salt
  • To serve:
  • Fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 fresh lime
  • Extra thick natural yoghurt, drained of excess liquid and poured into a piping bag
  • Black pepper


Using a food processor, blend the ingredients for the cure (fine salt, caster sugar and limes) together until smooth. Place the mackerel fillets in a tray, then coat them with the cure and leave to sit for two to three hours. Once the mackerel fillets are firm, rinse them with cold water and pat dry. Peel and deseed the cucumbers, then finely dice and season lightly with fine salt. Mix the Chardonnay vinegar, caster sugar and dry dill in a pan, and bring to the boil to create a pickling liquor. Put the diced cucumber into a cloth and squeeze to remove any excess moisture, then place in a bowl. Remove the pickling liquor from the heat and pour onto the cucumber, then leave to cool. Drain the cucumber (reserving the pickling liquor) when you are ready to serve the dish, then mix the cucumber with the capers, chopped fresh dill, a spoonful of the pickling liquor and a squeeze of fresh lime. Season the skin of the mackerel fillet and place under a pre-heated grill on full. Once the skin blisters, remove the fish from the grill to ensure the flesh remains pink and barely cooked. Place the scorched mackerel on a plate, then spoon over the pickled cucumber and Lilliput caper dressing. Pipe on a few dots of the extra thick natural yoghurt and finish with a twist of black pepper before serving.

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