Barbecue Fish Salad

It doesn't come any healthier than this barbecue fish salad and with a marinade that needs only 30 minutes it is really quick and easy recipe to prepare.

You can see in the photo that I've served this grilled mackerel salad with fire roast peppers, something that you can easily prepare in advance while your grill is getting up to temperature.

Simple salad, but effective don't you think?

At the moment it seems impossible to avoid all the good publicity about the merits of oily fish such as in my grilled mackerel salad. Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, it's good for the heart and circulation and it's good just to know that it's doing me good.

Certainly where I come from there's significant over-fishing of white fish (such as cod and haddock) and an abundance of mackerel in the the water so not only is it doing me good but I'm also doing my bit for sustainable fishing.

Grilled Mackerel fillets on skewersSpice up for barbecue fish salad with a few chilli flakes

Ten years ago you probably wouldn't even have caught me eating cod never mind any other fish but as I grow up (into my 50's!) I find that my taste buds are still developing. Fish is now firmly on the agenda and now even the non white fish.

You can buy Mackerel whole and filet it yourself or get your fishmonger to filet it for you. It's really easy to do yourself although practice might be called for - when I first did it, quite a bit of flesh remained on the bone.

Cover a board with stretch wrap (so the fish smell doesn't penetrate the board) and lay the mackerel on its side. Look for the fin on the side at the back of the head and insert a cut with your knife just behind this fin.

When you feel the knife meet the central bone, turn your knife through 90 degrees to face the tail and slither the knife to cut out the filet. Repeat on the other side of the fish.

This video demonstrates the process perfectly.

When you have your fillets, feel the perimeter for any bones and cut away if necessary. You can pin bone some of the central flesh if you're looking for fine dining perfection but I find that these bones are pretty soft and "melt" away during the cooking. Again, the video above will show you how to remove these central bones.

Now it's time to make the marinade and soak the bamboo skewers.

TIP - 30 minutes to marinate is just long enough to soak bamboo skewers so that they don't burn on the grill.

Here's the mackerel in the marinade

Serves:- 4 people

Preparation Time:- 10 minutes
Marinade Time:- 30 minutes
Cooking Time:- 10 minutes

Total Time:- 50 minutes


The only allergen to report in this recipe is the fish.


  • 8 Mackerel fillets
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh marjoram
  • 60ml 4 fl oz dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Juice of one lime


Mix up all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and marinate the fillets for a good 30 minutes. There's no need to refrigerate during this short time.

Thread the mackerel onto skewers using a sewing action along the length of the fillet so that as much of the surface area of the fish is exposed and your skewers lie flat on the cooking grate.

Grill over medium coals for about 10 - 12 minutes using the remainder of the marinade as baste.

Start skin side up for five minutes (see how the flesh curls) and then turn to cook skin side down, this helps keep the flesh moist and crisp up the skin.

Build your grilled mackerel salad on a bed of salad leaves, sliced tomatoes, cucumber etc. lay the skewers on top and finish off with the fire roasted red peppers.

If like me you feel that your barbecue fish salad is enough health for one meal, feel free to take a sip of the leftover bottle of wine!

See Also:-

More Healthy Salad Recipes
Smoked Mackerel Salad
Hot Smoked Mackerel
Delicious BBQ Fish Recipes

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