Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Mackerel on toast with salted cucumber and horseradish

Prep time 30 mins to 1 hour
Cook time 30 mins to 1 hour
Serves 4
From What to Eat Now
A potent combination of fresh mackerel, pungent horseradish and refreshing cucumber that’s a smashing start to any meal.


  1. For the salted cucumber and horseradish, place the cucumber slices into a colander and sprinkle with plenty of salt. Mix well and leave the contents to drain over the sink for half an hour.

  2. Rinse the salt off the cucumber with cold water, then leave to drain. Gently wring out any excess moisture from the cucumber with your hands, then set aside.

  3. In a clean bowl, mix the horseradish with the crème fraîche and mustard powder, making sure the mustard powder is well combined with no lumps. Set aside.

  4. Season the mackerel fillets on their skin side with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  5. Heat the butter in a frying pan until it is foaming, then add the fillets skin-side down. Place a heat-proof plate onto the cooking fillets, as this will make sure they stay flat and cook evenly. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until nearly cooked through, then turn the fillets and cook for 30 seconds, or until just cooked through.

  6. To serve, place a small handful of the cucumber onto the toast. Place the cooked mackerel fillets onto the cucumber. Place a dollop of the horseradish sauce on top and garnish with a little of the sliced red onion and a squeeze of lemon.


  • ½ cucumber, peeled, thinly sliced on a mandoline
  • salt
  • 4 tbsp grated fresh horseradish
  • 2 heaped tablespoon crème fraîche
  • 2 tsp English mustard powder
  • 4 fresh mackerel fillets
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • knob of butter

To serve

  • 4 slices soda bread, toasted, buttered
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ small lemon

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Mackerel on toast with salted cucumber and horseradish

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