Pan-Fried Mackerel Coated in Rolled Oats Recipe
Getting Ahead: The fish can be coated up to 2 hours ahead and kept refrigerated. Fry just before serving. The mustard sauce can be made up to 1 hour ahead and kept warm in a bain-marie. TIP: “If you prefer to buy your fish already prepared, you can use 6 skinned mackerel fillets.”
Order of work:
Prepare and Coat the Mackerel
Make The Mustard Sauce
Fry The Mackerel
- 3 cleaned mackerel, weighing about 375-500 g (3/4-l lb each)
- 2 1/2 floz vegetable oil, more if needed
- salt and pepper
- slices of lemon and parsley sprigs for decoration
- #For Coating The Fish#
- 2 eggs
- 1 oz plain flour
- 6oz rolled oats
- #For The Mustard Sauce#
- 2 oz butter
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 1/2 pint (300 ml) boiling water
- 1/2 juice of lemon
- 1 tbsp (15 ml) Dijon mustard, more to taste
- #The traditional Scottish recipe for herring, coated with oats and fried, is here adapted using mackerel fillets. For authenticity, use lard or bacon dripping instead of oil for frying. The accompanying mustard sauce is a piquant contrast.# Prepare and Coat the mackerel:Fillet the mackerel, then skin the fillets. Remove any remaining small bones with the tweezers. “Only tender fish flesh remains after fillets have been skinned” “Tweezers are precision tool for taking out small bones”
- Rinse the mackerel fillets again with cold water, put on paper towels, and pat dry. “Once they have been skinned, the mackerel fillets are quite fragile, so handle them gently.”
- Put the eggs into a shallow dish and beat them with 2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) salt just until mixed. Sift the flour onto a sheet of greaseproof paper.
- With your fingers, combine the rolled oats, salt, and pepper on a second sheet of greaseproof paper.
- Turn each of the mackerel fillets in the flour, so that they are evenly coated, then put them on a plate. “Lift edges of paper to roll and toss fish in oats”
- Dip 1 fillet in the beaten egg to coat it, using 2 forks. Transfer to the oat mixture and coat, tossing with the paper to cover. Dip and coat each remaining fillet. “Oat coating sticks to beaten egg” #Make The Mustard Sauce# Over low heat, slowly melt one-third of the butter in a medium saucepan.
- Add the flour to the melted butter in the saucepan and whisk to form a smooth paste. Cook until foaming, about 1 minute.
- Take from the heat and whisk in the boiling water. The sauce will thicken at once. “Whisk constantly to prevent j lumps forming”
- Return the saucepan to the heat and cook the sauce, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Remove the saucepan from the heat again; add the remaining butter to the sauce and whisk together thoroughly.
- Add the lemon juice and mustard; whisk to mix. Season to taste with salt, pepper, and more mustard, then whisk again until completely smooth. To keep the sauce warm, set the saucepan in a larger pan of hot water. TIPS: Do not boil or overcook a sauce containing Dijon mustard or it will be bitter. #Fry the Mackerel# Heat the oven to very low to keep the fish warm. Line the baking sheet with paper towels. Heat the oil in the frying pan. Add 3 fillets; cook until crisp and golden on the underside, 2-3 minutes. “Fish is cooked in batches so coating does not get soggy”
- Turn the mackerel fillets with the tongs, being careful not to loosen the oat coating.
- Cook until golden and the fish flakes easily when tested with a fork, 2-3 minutes longer. Transfer to the lined baking sheet; keep warm in the oven while you fry the remaining fillets, adding more oil if necessary. “Flesh should flake easily with fork” TO SERVE Arrange the mackerel fillets on a warmed platter and decorate with halved, twisted lemon slices and parsley sprigs. Serve with the warm mustard sauce on the side. “Mustard sauce is perfect partner for crisp-fried fish” “Oat coating is crunchy contrast to tender mackerel”