Slow-Grilled Mackerel

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At the Chinese grocery, Carol decided to buy trout which we planned to cook with prosciutto in the Spanish style. I went to the library after work, and when I came home I found Carol in my office going through the cookbooks. She had just realized that instead of trout, she had two very nice and fresh mackerels. So now we were working on plan B, and we did surprisingly well. This recipe is an adaptation of a slow-grilled sardine recipe in Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything coupled with our original idea of eating fish with prosciutto. Grilled sardines are very popular in Mediterranean countries, and mackerel are very similar, just larger. They are strongly favored fish, but still are very good when fresh and well prepared.

2 fresh mackerels, gutted and heads removed

Olive oil

Kosher salt and pepper



Heat a grill over medium-high heat for indirect grilling. On my gas grill, that meant turning on two of the three burners. When the grill is hot, clean and oil the grates.

Sprinkle the mackerel with kosher salt and pepper and rub all over with olive oil. Carefully put the mackerels close together on the cool side of the grill, close the lid and cook them for about 13 minutes. Check to see if they seem to be nearly done, with opaque and firm flesh. If not, grill for a few more minutes. If yes, carefully move them to the hot side of the grill and cook for about a minute on each side to crisp up the skin.


Serve with lemon slices and sautéed prosciutto.


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