30-minute sous vide mackerel recipe with perfectly tender meat and crispy skin. Drizzled with a homemade spicy cilantro lime dressing, it makes a quick and easy workday dinner.

30-minute sous vide mackerel recipe with perfectly tender meat and crispy skin. Drizzled with a homemade spicy cilantro lime dressing, it makes a quick and easy workday dinner.

You may not come by a mackerel recipe as often as the ever-so-popular salmon, but I promise you, mackerel is just as healthy and delicious. It’s got a slightly salty, creamy taste, which pairs especially well with citrus-based dressings and sauces, like this spicy cilantro lime dressing.

Loaded with omega 3 essential fatty acids, mackerel is good for your heart and brain, and it’s a lean choice for a main course. Paired with an addictive cilantro lime dressing, you might ask yourself why you don’t cook mackerel more often!

Actually, I can probably answer that for you. The main reason why mackerel isn’t the most popular fish is that it has a reputation for being, well, fishy. And no, it’s not a suspicious fish, it’s just an oily fish.

30-minute sous vide mackerel recipe with perfectly tender meat and crispy skin. Drizzled with a homemade spicy cilantro lime dressing, it makes a quick and easy workday dinner.

Mackerel’s dark flesh and high omega 3 content cause it to lose its freshness fast, which gives it an overwhelming fishy taste and odor. But there are ways of reducing the fishiness and making it an amazing entree. Even if you don’t have a sauce or dressing prepared, finishing it off with a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice will do the trick.

You can make sure your mackerel is fresh by checking that it’s firm to touch and still has dark skin. Also, be sure to use it up within 2-3 days of defrosting if you purchased it frozen.

20-Minute Sous Vide Mackerel Recipe, Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 Preheat water to 122°F using a sous vide precision cooker (I use the Anova sous vide).

Anova Sous Vide

Step 2 Rinse mackerel fillets, pat dry, and season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Season

Step 3 Transfer the prepared fish into a sous vide bag in one layer and vacuum-seal it.

Put in a sous vide bag

Step 4 Lower the bag into the prepared water bath and set the timer for 20 minutes.

Sous Vide Mackerel Fillets

Step 5 Make the spicy cilantro lime dressing.

This is the tastiest cilantro lime dressing you’ll ever make. It’s dairy-free, gluten-free, zesty, fresh, spicy, and addictive. All you need are six ingredients and five minutes.

Step 6 Once the timer goes off, remove the bag from the water bath and carefully remove the fish from the bag. Pat gently with a paper towel.

Step 7 Sear the skin side of the fish in a nonstick pan or cast-iron skillet.

Sear

Step 8 Drizzle the dressing over the fish. Serve.

Sous Vide Mackerel Recipe with Spicy Cilantro Lime Dressing

What If I Don’t Have a Sous Vide Machine?

If you don’t have a sous vide machine, don’t worry. You can still use this recipe to make grilled mackerel or bake it in the oven.

For grilling:

Grease the grill with cooking oil and preheat it to high heat. Place seasoned mackerel fillets on the grill, skin side down first. Leave the lid open to limit the heat and prevent overcooking, which happens quickly with fish. Flip the mackerel over with tongs or a spatula after four minutes. Grill it for an additional four minutes with the lid still open.

For baking:

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush lightly with olive oil. Lay the mackerel fillets skin side up on the paper and season the skin with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 8-10 minutes at 400°F until the skin is crisp and the fish is cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave to rest.

30-minute sous vide mackerel recipe with perfectly tender meat and crispy skin. Drizzled with a homemade spicy cilantro lime dressing, it makes a quick and easy workday dinner.

What to Pair with Mackerel

As far as side dishes go, potatoes, potato salad, and bread are the most common mackerel pairings.

You could serve this mackerel recipe with a Mediterranean-style potato salad, loaded with fresh herbs, a touch of grainy mustard, and green beans. If you’re tight on time but still want to serve the mackerel with a potato dish, you could simply roast some new potatoes on a baking sheet with olive oil, garlic cloves, salt, and black pepper.

For an Italian twist, serve mackerel on top of fresh warm garlic crostinis. It’s really up to you. This is an easy recipe to customize and steamed or roasted veggies will also do just fine!

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Sous Vide Mackerel Recipe with Spicy Cilantro Lime Dressing

30-minute sous vide mackerel recipe with perfectly tender meat and crispy skin. Drizzled with a homemade spicy cilantro lime dressing, it makes a quick and easy workday dinner.

30-minute sous vide mackerel recipe with perfectly tender meat and crispy skin. Drizzled with a homemade spicy cilantro lime dressing, it makes a quick and easy workday dinner.

  • Author: Sharon Chen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Gluten Free
  • Method: Sous Vide
  • Cuisine: American
Scale

Ingredients

For the spicy cilantro lime dressing:

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, firmly packed
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, roughly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Lime juice from 2 limes, about 1/4 cup
  • 1 tablespoon coconut aminos

Instructions

  1. Preheat water to 122°F using a sous vide machine. (I use the Anova sous vide precision cooker.)
  2. Prepare mackerel fillets by rinsing under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Season the fillets generously with salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides.
  3. Transfer the fish into a large sous vide bag in one single layer, ideally leaving a little room in between each fillet. Vacuum-seal the bag using a hand pump or a vacuum sealer.
  4. Once the water bath is ready, lower the bag into the water, making sure that the fish is completely under the water. Use a heavy object to weigh it down if necessary. Set timer for 20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the spicy cilantro lime dressing by combining all ingredients in a food processor or blender, blend on high speed for 30 seconds until thoroughly mixed.
  6. When the timer goes off, remove the bag from the water bath and remove the mackerel fillets from the bag. Pat dry with paper towels.
  7. Heat oil in a large nonstick pan or a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, place the fish into the pan, skin side down, and sear for 30 seconds or until the skin is brown and crispy.
  8. Dish and drizzle with spicy cilantro lime dressing. Enjoy!

Notes

  • If the spicy cilantro lime dressing isn’t your thing,  simply squeeze some fresh lemon juice over the mackerel or garnish with lemon slices.
  • The spicy cilantro lime dressing recipe yields 1 cup. Keep the leftover dressing in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to one week.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 261
  • Sodium: 594.6mg
  • Fat: 15.3g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.9g
  • Carbohydrates: 0.4g
  • Fiber: 0.1g
  • Protein: 36.1g
  • Cholesterol: 142.1mg
30-minute sous vide mackerel recipe drizzled with a homemade spicy cilantro lime dressing, it makes a quick and easy workday dinner.

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