Sep 30, 2012

Grilled whole Mackerel with Lemon, Thyme and Red chilli flakes!

Grilled fish, that has been on my must-try list for grilling, ever since we bought our new gas grill. Finally last week I got a chance to try it out and I was very happy with the results. I grilled a 3lb Mackerel whole :-) , well Manish just happened to get one from Whole Foods without cutting it into smaller pieces, so I thought why not?!! I took these snaps in the evening around 7pm, so they look quite dull.

Found a really simple recipe here and I had all the ingredients at hand and adapted it a bit more to suit our taste. I was initially a bit skeptical about grilling fish by wrapping it in foil and just pouring the marinade over the fish without actually marinating it. But if the foil is wrapped such that the marinade does not drip out much, it retains all the flavors and results in a flaky, moist and delicious grilled fish :-)
The fish was so flavorful and flaky and the lemon wedges tasted like pickle. Manish literally ate up all the lemon wedges too. Though I had rubbed some red chilli powder on the fish and also added red chilli flakes in the marinade, it did not make the fish very spicy. I guess the lemon juice sort of gave a good balance between tangy and mild spicy, such that even my 15 month old could eat the fish.

Grilled whole Mackerel with Lemon, Thyme and Red chilli flakes
 You'll Need
Whole Mackerel - 3lb (Cleaned , I removed the head and tail)
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Finely grated fresh lemon zest - 1 whole lemon
Fresh lemon juice - 1 whole lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil - 3/4 to 1 cup
Dried Thyme or Orgenao - 1 tsp
Red Chilli Flakes - 2 tsp
Coarsely ground black pepper - 2 tsp (optional)
Lemon slices - 6-7 (1/4 inch thick)
Salt - to taste

1. Mix together the red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt. Cut deep slits into the fish at 1 inch intervals and rub the whole fish with this dry spice mix , making sure that the spice gets rubbed inside the slits as well and keep aside.
2. Mix together all the ingredients for the marinade. Taste test to make sure the marinade is flavorful. (make sure not to add too much salt as the fish is already rubbed with some salt)
3. Preheat your grill, and in the meantime cut out 2 large foil wraps (the foil wraps should be larger than your fish) and place 3 lemon wedges on the foil and place the fish carefully over these wedges. Again place 3 or more lemon wedges over the fish.
4. Arrange the foil such that it forms a dish like appearance and pour the marinade over the fish. Slightly lift the fish allowing some marinade to coat the bottom of the fish.
5. Completely wrap the fish carefully making sure that the marinade does not seep out. Place the fish over a lightly oiled grill and grill for 15 minutes. Using tongs, turn the fish over and again grill for another 15 minutes. (Some oil may drip out at this point, which is fine)

6. Transfer fish to a large platter using 2 metal spatulas or tongs. Let it sit for sometime before opening. Serve hot :-)

I'm sure this recipe can even be tried for Baked Fish. Here's some good tips on how to Oven bake a fish.
Very soon we were just left with this :-)
So give this a try. Its a change from our usual fish preparations and the taste is unique and really delicious.

Btw, if anyone is wondering if we ate the fish with strawberries (as shown in the pic), let me just say, all the strawberries were eaten by my strawberry loverboy - lil Manav. He simply loves the fruit and will eat it with anything. So fish and strawberries for him :-)

See you soon!!



  1. Very interesting.. Looks so tempting and delicious.
    Loved the clicks.

  2. Looks delicious and healthy, thanks for sharing

  3. Thats grilled to perfection and the platter looks so inviting

  4. This looks so delicious Manju, and healthy too, will try this version soon

    Cook like Priya

  5. Delicious and lovely looking macrel preparation.

  6. Mackerel with lemon and thyme... looks delicious..

  7. This looks really good! I haven't had the courage yet to do a whole fish, but you inspired me to give it a try!

  8. if my husband sees this now, he will be after my life to make it for him...him being the fish lover. I tho, given a choice would stick to something else :)im sure grilling it is a much tastier option that frying and you can never go wrong with lemon and thyme:)

  9. Wow... this looks tempting and yummy.., looks absolutely delicious.

  10. Hi,

    Looks Tempting..!!

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  11. What a healthy and tasty dinner. I love the last pictures with all that's left.. the bones. :)

    PS... my kids love strawberries too. :)


  12. First time here.. u have a cute blog. loved ur posts ..

  13. what a tempting grilled fish..flaky and super yumm..
    BTW When u get time do drop and check out the birthday cake I was talking about few weeks before :)

  14. thanks for sharing..

  15. Thanks a lot Manju for the encouraging really made my day :)
    I m happy to find a blogging friend with a similar interst in baking and decorating..u know what I got a cake order after the party,so kind of excited about it, it's a bit complicated though...the cake is for a book lover who also loves wine and cheese ,so I have to put all these things together on the kind of storming my brain now :) making bottle is the challenge ,if u come across any blog or website with good bottle cakes pls tell me :)

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  17. This is my kinda fish recipe. Incidentally, posted a fish shallow fry with oranges on the side today and am now wanting to make it with lemon and thyme :-)
    Lovely pictures.


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