Barbecued mackerel with rhubarb compote

Recipe by Ali Dunworth, Issue 01


Serves 2


2 whole fresh mackerel, filleted

olive oil

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


For the rhubarb compote:

500g rhubarb

1–2 tsp honey


To serve:

dressed salad leaves


To make the compote, trim your rhubarb and chop it into chunky pieces. Rinse it and put it straight into a saucepan while it’s still wet, then drizzle the honey over it. Cover the pan with a lid and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes, then then take it off the heat but leave the lid on for another 5 minutes. The rhubarb should have just softened and released some juice but still retain some of its chunkiness. Taste it at this stage and if you want to add more honey, do. You can eat it straightaway or store it in the fridge for up to a week.

To cook the mackerel you’ll need to set up your barbecue for cooking on a direct medium heat, so get your coals on. When they have turned from red to white check the heat by extending your palm and holding it above the grill, about a tin can’s distance above the coals. Start to count and pull your hand away when it’s too hot – 2 to 4 seconds is high heat, while 5 to 7 seconds is medium heat.

Using a sharp knife, slash the skin on your fish a few times, then drizzle over a little olive oil and season with olive oil and salt and pepper. Using a pastry brush or some kitchen paper drizzle with a little olive oil, lubricate the grill where you’ll put the fish.

Put the fish on to cook over the coals for 3–4 minutes, then turn and cook for another 3–4 minutes, until the flesh has turned grey and the fish feels firm to the touch.

Serve your barbecued mackerel with a big dollop of rhubarb compote and some dressed salad leaves on the side.

Back to blog