Recipe: Baked Mackerel with Vinegar, Mint, and Garlic Sauce


(photo: just out of the oven baked mackerel)

I’ve written about my love of fish on multiple occasions here on, expounding on sardines, smelts, tuna, branzino, and salmon.  Yet I was sad to discover that while I hold all of the aforementioned fish in high esteem, I’ve only written about fresh mackerel on one other occassion (leaving one of my favorite fish with a single entry!).

(photo: baked mackerel with olive oil, salt, and pepper)

Mackerel is an ideal fish, in my view, because it has a wonderful texture, oily composition, and includes a meaty flavor profile which is akin to good canned tuna in olive oil.  The fish has a firm flesh and is extremely high in vitamin B 12, Omega 3 (a type of fatty acid), and Phosphatidylserine (linked to positive brain function, especially in folks suffering from dementia, for example).  In fact, Mackerel has twice the amount of Omega 3 than Salmon.  Mackerel is also low in mercury and the Atlantic variety is in good shape (from an over-fishing perspective).

I recently prepared a baked version of mackerel with a vinegar based sauce comprising of fresh mint, salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, dryed oregano, and garlic.

(photo: Calabrian vinegar and mint sauce referred to as Sermoglio)

My mother refers to the sauce as “sermoglio” and is typical in Calabria and used with many fish dishes, including swordfish. 

I served the mackerel with a split pea soup and sauteed broccoli rabe.

(photo: split pea soup with carrots, garlic, and fresh parsely)

(photo: brocolli rabe)

(photo: freshly made croutons to accompany the split pea soup)

(photo: vinegar and mint sauce with baked mackerel) 


  1. I’ve never been a big fan of mackerel but I do love mint in savory dishes. I’ll give mackerel another try with your recipe. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. You should give it another try. The fish spoils very quickly so when you get some from the market make sure to consume it the same day. The mint / garlic / vinegar does a nice job of cutting through the oily taste of the Mackerel!
    Let me know if you try it..

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  4. Growing up in Maine, where the smaller ones are called “tinker mackerel”, the mackerel is my all time favorite grilled fish. Sadly, fresh mackerel is rarely seen here in the mid-America

    I just had some excellent smoked mackerel (from Maine, naturally) for Abendbrot.

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