Photo by: Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Mindi Shapiro Levine

Mackerel Gravlax with Roasted Red Pepper Puree

Serve this unique gravlax with seedy whole-grain crackers.

  • Yield: 8 servings (serving size: about 2 ounces fish and 1 1/2 tablespoons sauce)


  • 2 (10-ounce) mackerel fillets
  • 3 tablespoons fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 bunch cilantro sprigs
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots
  • 2 medium red bell peppers
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar


1. Run fingers along the flesh side of fillets; remove any pin bones with a pair of kitchen tweezers. Turn fillets over; score skin by making 4 (1-inch) crosswise cuts in each fillet with a sharp knife.

2. Combine salt and sugar in a small bowl. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt mixture over skin side of each fillet; let stand 10 minutes.

3. Arrange half of cilantro sprigs in a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish. Arrange fillets in a single layer, skin side down, on top of cilantro. Spread remaining salt mixture over flesh side of fillets; top evenly with shallots and remaining cilantro sprigs. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place a cast-iron skillet or other heavy object on top of fillets to weigh them down; refrigerate 24 hours.

4. Remove skillet; set aside. Uncover fillets; drain any accumulated liquid. Carefully turn fillets over; cover loosely with plastic wrap. Place skillet or heavy object on top of fillets; refrigerate 24 hours.

5. Preheat broiler. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Broil 12 minutes or until blackened. Place in a paper bag; fold to close tightly. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel. Combine bell peppers, 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, and vinegar in a food processor; process until smooth.

6. Remove skillet from fillets; discard plastic wrap. Scrape off and discard cilantro and salt mixture; discard liquid. Using a sharp knife, remove skin from fillets. Cut fillets into 1/16-inch slices. Serve with bell pepper puree.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 95
  • Fat: 1.7g
  • Saturated fat: 0.3g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.6g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.4g
  • Protein: 16.3g
  • Carbohydrate: 3.1g
  • Fiber: 0.9g
  • Cholesterol: 41mg
  • Iron: 1.6mg
  • Sodium: 385mg
  • Calcium: 28mg

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Mackerel Gravlax with Roasted Red Pepper Puree Recipe