If there is ever a chance of going out with someone on their boat to go fishing, definitely, take them up on it! Especially if you are going to be catching Spanish Mackerel! Grilled Spanish Mackerel is going to knock your socks off. You know the recipes where you go “I didn’t know I liked XYZ!” That is what happens when you grill up mackerel!
What is Spanish Mackerel?
So, when Jason went to work and told them that he and Spencer were going to North Carolina for the weekend to meet up with a college friend to fish for mackerel, he got a lot of blank stares! People think of salmon, cod, halibut or even trout when they grill or cook fish. But, mackerel is king in North Carolina and shouldn’t be looked over if you have the opportunity to try it!
It has a very mild flavor and is easily grilled. As the fish is long and thin, it will cook uniformly.
What Does Mackerel Taste Like?
It has a very mild, pleasant “fishy” taste. If you like tuna, you’ll love mackerel!
What Else Can You Do With Mackerel?
This is my favorite part of cooking! I love to figure out what I can do with the leftovers or what I can do with the extra food we have on hand (look back at all those beer brats!) and make it into something different.
- Mackerel Dip (try substituting the mackerel in the Trout Dip recipe)
- Spread for crackers or baguettes
- Mackerel sandwiches using the leftovers and making it similar to a tuna or chicken sandwich
- Make with Pasta – whip up a yummy three cheese pasta dish using your mackerel
- Mackerel Nachos – sprinkle the mackerel on top of your normal sheet pan nachos
- Spicy Mackerel Tacos
- Depending on how much you got, you could make them into seafood cakes. If you only have a little, mix it with purchased crab to make Mackerel Crab Cakes
You can see already that the list is endless to what to make with leftovers. If someone offers you their mackerel when you are out fishing, take it!
How to Grill Spanish Mackerel
Bring the grill temperature to 350 degrees.
After cleaning the Spanish Mackerel, prepare a garlic filling. I combined parsley, chopped garlic, sea salt and olive oil. Open the whole mackerel and fill the cavity with this delicious mixture.
Lightly oil the outside of the fish before placing it on the grill to minimize the chances of it sticking to the grate.
After 10-12 minutes, use a grilling spatula to carefully turn the fish over. Cook for another 7-10 minutes, or until the meat is opaque and is easily flaked with a fork.
Bring it inside, and serve. Carefully remove the meat from the bones and enjoy a garlic filled grilled mackerel!
If you like grilling this whole mackerel, make sure to check out the Smoked Trout recipe! That is one ‘to-die for’ recipe! The smoky flavor is just a hint and we used the leftovers in the incredible Smoked Trout Dip! That dip never made it off the counter! We ate that so fast it would have made your head spin!!
Grilled Whole Spanish Mackerel with a Garlic Filling
- 4 each Spanish Mackerel Whole, Cleaned
- 6 each Garlic Cloves Chopped
- 1 tbsp Parsley Chopped
- 2 tsp Sea Salt
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
Prepare the Spanish Mackerel
- Clean the mackerel
- Brush the outside of the fish with olive oil
Make the Garlic Filling
- Chop the garlic and parsley and combine with sea salt
- Use a spoon to fill the cavities of each fish with the mixture
Grill the Spanish Mackerel
- Bring grill to 350 degrees
- Carefully place the Spanish Mackerel on the grating
- Grill for 10-12 minutes and use a grilling spatula to carefully turn the fish over
- Grill for another 7-10 minutes until the meat is opaque and flakes easily with a fork
- Remove from grill and serve.