Cured Mackerel

Darth Vader
Cured Mackerel
Image: Sevdalina Irikova
1 / 4
Preparation10 min.
Cooking12 min.
Тotal22 min.
"The perfect appetizer is the one you prepare yourself."


  • mackerel - 5, fresh or chilled
  • salt - coarse
  • vinegar

How to cook

Traditionally, Black Sea fishermen clean and wash the fish with sea water. During the fall catch the fish are fatty and much tastier for curing, canning with tomato sauce or salt marinating.

Clean the fish of their gills and innards, save their heads. Wash the cleaned fish with salted water in a ratio of 3 tbsp salt to 6 1/5 cups (1.5 L) water, until you've washed away all the blood. Put them in a colander with the heads facing down in order to drain for about 6 hours.

Arrange the fish in a deep container (I used a deep glass cook tray) with their bellies facing up and pour coarse salt over them. Place the container in the fridge. On the 3rd day pour out the bloody water and pour in new water (4/5 cup (180 g) coarse salt for every 4 1/5 cups (1 L) water).

Take the fish out and leave them for 12 hours in cold water mixed with vinegar. Pat dry, tie them by their tails with strong thread and hang them up in a cool area. Wrap the heads in gauze, fasten with string or rubber bands so they don't make a mess during curing.

The curing process takes 10 days in a cool area or 6-7 days in a non-cool area. The weather outside needs to be cold though.

Serve them sliced, garnished with lemon, red onions or leeks, or deboned as a salad with spices - according to taste.


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