Paul Ainsworth's BBQ Mackerel on Toast

Mackerel on toast with tomatoes and coriander

Paul Ainsworth

Paul Ainsworth's BBQ Mackerel on Toast
Everyday Cook

Skill level


Cooking time



Serves 4

  • 4 medium sized mackerel fillets, pin boned 
  • Two large slices of good quality sour dough.
  • 1 red onion- thinly sliced
  • 1 red chilli – sliced thinly on an angle
  • 1 Green Chilli – sliced thinly on an angle
  • 4 spring onions – sliced thinly on an angle
  • 12 cherry tomatoes – sliced in half
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Chopped coriander
  • Sliced basil
  • 1 lime 
  • 1 lemon
  • Olive oil

Cold pickle recipe 

  • 600ml water
  • 150ml white wine vinegar
  • 150ml caster sugar
  • 50ml olive oil
  • Teaspoon of salt

Ceviche Dressing

  • 250g olive oil
  • 50g white wine vinegar
  • 50g rice wine vinegar
  • ½ tablespoon of sesame seed oil
  • Seasoning to taste


Cold Pickle recipe

  1. Place all ingredients in saucepan and warm to a tepid temperature to dissolve the sugar. Then cool.
  2. Add sliced red onion, cling film and leave in the fridge overnight.

Ceviche Dressing Recipe

  1. Place both vinegars in a large bowl and season with salt lightly, then add olive oil and sesame oil, then using a hand blender emulsify together. 

Main Recipe

  1. Have two small pans of hot boiling lightly salted water ready and two bowls of ice water.
  2. Place green chillies in one and red in the other and blanch for 30 seconds then into ice cold water. Repeat three times. This takes out the hotness from the chillies to a more mild flavour.
  3. Season the mackerel fillets with salt on both sides, and pepper on skin side only. Douse liberally with the ceviche and gently warm on the bottom of a grill, also doing the same with cherry tomatoes.
  4. Remove red onions from pickle, place in bowl add chillies, spring onions, chopped coriander and sliced basil making a salsa.
  5. Using olive oil drizzle over sourdough and toast or char grill until nice and golden brown, then rub with a fresh garlic clove.
  6. When the fish is gently warmed but still pink, blow torch or grill the skin side until beautifully charred and crispy; also doing the same with cherry tomatoes. 
  7. Add tomatoes to onion salsa mix, season, add a little of ceviche to this, along with a squeeze of lime and lemon juice.
  8. Dress the salad onto the chargrilled sourdough, place mackerel over the top zest a little bit of lemon and lime zest over and finish with a little of the ceviche dressing then serve.
Paul Ainsworth

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