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  • Bute St Seafoodie

Grilled Mackerel al Pimentón

Updated: Jun 11, 2020

How do you know if a mackerel is fresh? Simple. Pick it up by the tail and hold it out horizontally. If it sticks out of your hand like a ruler, that's the mackerel you want. You will never find one like that in a supermarket, but you always will on the stall in Bute St.

Mackerel are widely available in Spain and, being an oily fish take well to the smoky, spicy flavour of paprika, a ubiquitous spice in Spanish cuisine. This plate of mackerel coated with paprika and grilled, and served with "pan con tomate", is a favourite breakfast of mine.

This is hardly a recipe, more a suggestion of simple flavour combinations that make for an easy, tasty plate of food. Whole mackerel can also be used, just cut some slits in the sides of the fish to help allow the heat to reach the centre before the outside is at risk of burning.

Grilled Mackerel al Pimentón

Ingredients (serves 1)

1 mackerel, filleted

Paprika (smoked, sweet and/or hot, or a combination)


Freshly ground pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

A ripe tomato

A piece of crusty bread

Lemon wedge, to serve


  1. Preheat the grill to the highest setting.

  2. Coat the mackerel with a dusting of one or more of the varieties of paprika, salt and pepper and a little olive oil. Rub all over and leave for a few minutes.

  3. For the pan con tomate, cut the tomato into very small dice, almost a puree, and stir in some salt to taste.

  4. Toast the bread, and when done, drizzle with a little olive oil and top with the chopped tomato.

  5. Place the mackerel fillets, skin-side up, on a lightly greased baking sheet. Grill for approximately two minutes until just done.

  6. Serve the mackerel with the pan con tomate and a wedge of lemon.

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