The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - The Telegraph Magazine
Mackerel salad sandwiches
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes
On the banks of the Bosphorus river in Istanbul at lunchtime you find roadside carts selling chargrilled fresh mackerel salad sandwiches called ‘balik ekmek’. Mackerel has a wonderful, rich flavour, is micronutrient-dense and often comes ready to eat. For some reason it is constantly overlooked by people doing their weekly shops; this flavourpacked recipe will hopefully go some way towards changing this.
INGREDIENTS For the sandwiches
– 2 fillets of vacuumpacked smoked mackerel (100g each) – 2 sections of French baguette, each about 15cm long
For the salad dressing
– 1 tbsp olive oil
– juice of ½ lemon
– 1 tsp honey
– 1 tsp pomegranate molasses (or balsamic vinegar)
– ½ tsp chilli flakes
– ½ tsp garlic granules – ½ tsp sumac
For the salad
– 75g grated carrot
– ¼ red onion,
– 1 ripe tomato, halved
and thinly sliced
– a handful of parsley,
Start by heating a non-stick pan over a medium heat. Place the mackerel fillets (keep the skin on) in the pan and crisp them up by cooking for two minutes on each side. Mackerel is a very oily fish and as it cooks will release lots of oil into the pan, so no extra oil is needed.
Carefully remove the mackerel and place on a plate. Slice your baguettes in half and place them face down in the non-stick pan. They will soak up the oily mackerel juices and crisp up in just a few minutes.
Mix all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl and whisk well to combine. Pour this over the carrot, onion, tomato and parsley.
To serve, place the salad on the base of the toasted baguette and top with a crispy mackerel fillet, followed by the lid of the baguette. Serve immediately or pack for lunch.