Crispy mackerel, fennel aioli & fennel salad


Crispy mackerel, fennel aioli & fennel salad
  • For the crispy mackerel
  • 2 large mackerel, filleted, trimmed and pin-boned
  • 50g plain flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 120g Japanese panko breadcrumbs
  • oil for deep-frying
  • For the fennel aioli
  • 2 small cloves garlic, gently cooked immersed in oil until soft
  • 1 tsp toasted fennel seeds, ground
  • ½ tsp Maldon sea salt
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 150ml rapeseed oil
  • 25ml olive oil
  • an extra squeeze of lemon
  • For the fennel and pea shoot salad
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed
  • 2 handfuls of pea shoots
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 50 ml Northumbrian rapeseed oil
  1. To prepare the crispy mackerel, place the flour, egg and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Coat each fillet in the flour, egg and breadcrumbs and place on a plate. Set aside. For the fennel aioli, place the garlic cloves in a blender with the fennel seeds, salt and lemon juice and combine. Add the egg yolks and with the blender running on a slow speed, add the oils in a steady stream until emulsified. Taste and if required add a touch more lemon juice. Set aside (this can be stored in the fridge for about a week). For the fennel and pea shoot salad, finely slice the fennel, using a mandolin if you have one. Place in a bowl with the pea shoots and dress with the lemon juice and rapeseed oil. With everything prepared, heat oil in a deep fryer or deep, heavy pan to 180C. Add the mackerel fillets and fry until golden. Remove from the fryer and drain on kitchen paper. To serve, place the mackerel on a plate, spoon some aioli on the side and garnish with the fennel salad.
  2. Tip: This also works really well with herrings and if you can’t get pea shoots you could use rocket.


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