Rick Stein's Battered Mackerel with Mayo, Chilli Sauce and Lime (Pescado con Mayonesa, Limón y Salsa Picante)

Rick Stein's easy battered mackerel is inspired by his travels across Mexico and is served with a chilli sauce and mayo. The perfect starter to a Mexican feast.

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Introduction

In the Nueva Viga fish market in Mexico City, the second-largest fish market in the world after Tsukiji in Tokyo, the most popular street food enjoyed by stallholders and shoppers alike is fillets of sierra, a type of mackerel. The fillets are deep-fried in beer batter, split open and slathered in mayonnaise, lime, salt and chilli sauce. It’s right up there with the grilled mackerel in a baguette with chilli and sumac they serve on the Bosphorus in Istanbul.

Serves 4

Ingredients

4 very fresh mackerel fillets, all bones removed
1 ltr corn oil
For the batter:
200g plain flour
½ tsp salt
1½ tsp baking powder
275ml ice-cold beer
To serve:
fine salt
2 limes, cut into wedges
150ml mayonnaise, preferably Kewpie in a squeezy bottle
hot chilli sauce, such as Cholula or Salsa Huichol or even Tabasco

Instructions

 

Sift the flour, salt and baking powder into a roomy bowl, then whisk in the ice-cold beer to make a thick and smooth batter.

Put your oven on at a low setting, about 120°C. Add the oil to a pan wide enough to accommodate the mackerel fillets and heat to 185°C. Dip a mackerel fillet into the batter, lower it into the hot oil and fry for 4–5 minutes until golden and crisp. Drain the fillet on kitchen paper and keep it warm in the oven while cooking the rest.

When all the fillets are ready, slit them along their length. Sprinkle them with salt, squeeze the lime wedges over them and then squirt with mayonnaise and chilli sauce.

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