LAWRENCE MURPHY: Fish with a festive citrus twist

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Hayley Wise with her partner Guy Lymn at Urban Island Brewing

Portsmouth microbrewery takes plunge and opens up new taproom

There are still a lot of mackerel being caught off the British coast at this time of year that we can take advantage of in our kitchens.

The best bit about mackerel for us cooks has to be its fantastic flavour and quick cooking time.

It does have a lot of fine bones but with a little care they can be removed. I’m sure your friendly fish mongers will fillet them for you.

This recipe uses oranges and cinnamon giving it a little festive feel. And the citrus dressing helps to cut the rich oily flavour of the fish.

Use a hot grill to crisp the skin of the mackerel.


4 fillets mackerel bones removed

Zest and juice of 2 oranges

1 shallot finely diced

Pinch of saffron

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

150ml white wine

120ml olive oil

Pinch of xythium gum

Sea salt


1. Gently fry the shallot in a tablespoon of the olive oil until soft

2. Add the white wine and orange zest, cinnamon and saffron and reduce by half.

3. Remove from the heat and add the remaining olive oil, orange juice and xythiud gum.

4. Put the pan back on the heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 minutes

5. Liquidise the sauce and push it through a fine sieve

6 Grill the mackerel for 4 to 5 minutes depending on size

7 Pour a little sauce into four bowls and place the fish on top.