Mackerel with gooseberry sauce

by Roopa Gulati

Roopa Gulati’s take on a classic summer combo

The richness of fried mackerel fillets contrasts the tartness of sweetened gooseberries spiked with red chillies.


3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus 2 tbsp to fry the fish
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 sprigs thyme, leaves chopped
1 sprig rosemary, leaves chopped
250g red or green gooseberries, topped and tailed
1 red chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp caster sugar
75ml dry sherry
1 tbsp chopped chives
6 medium mackerel fillets, skin-on


Heat 3 tbsp oil in a saucepan and cook the red onion, chopped thyme and rosemary leaves until softened—about 5 mins.

Stir in the prepared gooseberries, red chilli and lemon zest and juice. Cover and cook for about 10 mins, until the fruit has softened.

Stir in the sugar and sherry and continue cooking until the sugar has dissolved and the sauce has thickened. Cover and keep warm while you fry the fish.

Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Season the mackerel with salt and freshly ground pepper then fry the fillets, skin side down, for 2-3 mins, until the skin is golden. Using a slicer, turn the fish over and continue cooking over a low heat for another 1 min.

Serve the fillets with the warm gooseberry sauce and a green salad on the side.

Recipe: Roopa Gulati