Mackerel Escabeche



Escabeche is a Spanish dish that is also very popular throughout the Mediterranean region. This is a marinade made with olive oil and vinegar with fish like sardines, mackerels, and bonitos. Always eaten the following morning.

I bought fresh mackerels for this recipe

Serves 4


  • 8 fresh Mackerels
  • 2 white onions
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 6 medium tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 100ml of extra virgin  olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of harissa or (1 red chilli pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon of soft paprika
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of black pepper
  • 100ml of water
  • 50ml of apple vinegar
  • Sunflower oil
  • Plain flour/ all purpose flour


For the Mackerels:

  1. For this recipe, I kept the head of the fish.
  2. Make an incision in the belly and remove the viscera.
  3. Scrape the inside to thoroughly clean and rinse in water.
  4. Set aside in a colander.
  5. In a large bowl, pour a little of the flour.
  6. In a large frying pan, add a little of sunflower oil on a hot heat.
  7. Deep the mackerels into the flour (just a little of flour), remove the excess of flour and deep into the frying pan for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove and set aside.

For the marinated sauce:

  1. In a large frying pan add the olive oil, the sliced onion, the sliced garlic, the sliced tomatoes, the chopped parsley, the bay leaves, the harissa, the paprika, the salt and the pepper
  2. Cook on a medium heat for 10 minutes to let all the flavor and the spices mixed together.
  3. Add the water and the vinegar.
  4. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

Final procedure:

  1. Add the mackerels into the marinade and cook for 10 minutes on a low heat.
  2. Remove from the heat.
  3. Refrigerate the Escabeche until the following morning.
  4. Serve the following morning and drizzle with a little of vinegar.

This dish is spicy and sour with the vinegar. I suggest you to dip a piece of bread into the sauce, it’s much better.

Bon Appétit!

21 Comments Add yours

  1. Jhuls says:

    Wow! This is so delicious!! ❤

  2. Patty Nguyen says:

    Mmm, this looks so tasty, Linda. What a great way to prepare mackerel!

    1. Thanks Patty 🙂 It is and you can keep this dish very well up to 1 week in the fridge.

      1. Patty Nguyen says:

        Ooh even better!

  3. Love mackerel! And the dish looks delicious!

    1. Thank you Laila 🙂 I love mackerel too and the texture is so rich and fine a very tasty fish.

  4. vanyadhanya says:


  5. Nancy says:

    This sounds fabulous and looks delicious…yum!

    1. Thanks Nancy, it’s delicious served cold especially in hot weather like today 🙂

  6. Ngan R. says:

    I love mackerel and hardly ever see anyone cook with it. I have never heard of this dish, but it sounds and looks delicious. Next time I can get my hands on mackerel, I will be making this! Thank you for the recipe!

    1. It’s not complicated to prepare; since my childhood we make this recipe in my family, sometimes with mackerels and sometimes with sardines, always tasty and appreciated. Please, let me know your feedback.

      1. Ngan R. says:

        Wow, sardines are another of my favorite “smelly” fishes. Thank you for letting me know this recipe would work with sardines because mackerel is a bit hard for me to find sometimes!

      2. Trust me it’s great with sardines too 🙂

  7. yummy! it looks really tasty! I’d like to mop up a small piece of bread in that pan!

    1. You’re welcome Margherita, it was very yummy and even more with a “crouton de pain” dipped into the sauce 🙂 Un delice…

  8. Mr Fitz says:

    I had to come back to this post.. just had honey nut corn flakes for breakfast.. yet i really want this instead!

    1. Well then Mr. Fitz, I hope you will soon try this dish and let me know if it is as good as those honey nut corn flakes! 😀

      1. Mr Fitz says:

        Am sure it will be! Will keep my eyes peeled for some good fishes

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