Mackerel with Capers and Chili


Time to have a fish dish. Mackerel is probably my favourite fish, it is full of flavour and being an oily fish is very good for you. We are also heading into summer, so the meal needs a bit of that Mediterranean feel about it. I have taken this recipe and changed it out a little. While the original is nice, the peppers and potatoes can feel a little bland, so it has been perked up a little with pinch of chili flakes and I have exchanged the white wine for vermouth.

This serves two as a big meal or four as a regular one.


  • 2 large or 4 small mackerel, gutted
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 very ripe tomatoes, seeds removed, chopped
  • 50g/2oz capers in salt, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 500g/1lb 2oz waxy potatoes, peeled and cut into 3cm/1¼in cubes or sliced into rounds
  • 1 red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • Pinch of chili flakes
  • 25ml/1fl oz white vermouth.



  1. With a sharp knife slash the sides of the mackerel and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Heat a frying pan until just warm. Add the olive oil and a pinch of chilli flakes, stir around and then add the sliced garlic. Stir again and throw in the potatoes, sliced peppers and stir the lot to combine, add the lemon juice, capers and tomatoes.
  3. Add the vermouth, simmer gently stirring from time to time to prevent it sticking to the pan. Keep cooking until the potatoes are cooked through and the peppers are soft. Season the lot with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  4. Meanwhile while that lot is cooking, either fry the mackerel skin side down or preheat the grill to high and place the mackerel on a grill tray and grill until cooked through (for about 3-4 minutes on each side). Set aside in a warm place. Pour the mackerel juices from the grill tray (or frying pan) over the potato mix. .

  5. Plate the potato mix, add the mackerel and serve.




About Cooking At Zero Degrees

This is a blog (it also works on an ipad and now has a Facebook page) about what we eat at home. Starters, mains, sauces, side dishes, cocktails and links to local shops. It’s all here. Food is fun, it should be fun to make and fun to eat. For some people making a meal is a chore. If it is then don’t do it; but please, it’s better to eat something, anything, that you make at home from scratch, because prepared, packaged supermarket dinners and food have about as much flavour as the plastic or cardboard package they come in. Food cultivation and husbandry is not just a moral argument. Eggs that don’t come from battery hens do taste better, cattle properly reared have more flavour - and just think about it: at its most simple, if they’re not being pumped full of chemicals then you’re not being pumped full of chemicals. How good is that? If you can buy local, use your neighbourhood shops, you will miss them when they are gone. Most of all, have fun making a meal of it! Oh, and why at zero degrees? Because that’s where we live – in Greenwich, London.
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