Simple oven-roasted Spanish Mackerel recipe, prepared Mediterranean-style with garlic, fresh herbs, and olive oil.
Working on this Spanish Mackerel recipe reminded me of childhood visits to Port Said’s Souk El Samak (fish market). The souk was basically an entire square of narrow streets lined with small seafood stands and bins upon bins of fresh fish.
Exploring the day’s catch, my dad and I would visit with several fishermen before we made our decision. Our choice often landed on beautiful, large whole fish, which the fishermen happily, and hurriedly, cleaned, gutted, and wrapped up in brown paper parcels.
Mom, a very practical cook, didn’t fuss much with whole fish. If it came home in one piece, it often took on a little seasoning and a generous drizzle of olive oil. In the oven it went–whole.
I followed mom’s no-fuss approach with this simple Spanish Mackerel recipe. Here, the fish is stuffed with crushed garlic, herbs and lemons. Then, roasted in foil with quality olive oil. Because Spanish Mackerel is a flavorful, oily fish, a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice is the perfect finish to the whole roasted fish.
What to serve with this Spanish Mackerel recipe
When I make this Spanish Mackerel recipe, I often prepare a side of Lebanese rice and a zesty fresh salad like Fattoush or this easy 3-ingredient Mediterranean salad. This time, I also added a new Mediterranean potato salad with capers; I’m eager to share the recipe for that one soon!
Mediterranean Oven Roasted Spanish Mackerel Recipe
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Yield: 2
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
- 3 large garlic cloves
- 1 tsp salt, more for later
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh dill
- 1 1/2 lb whole Spanish Mackerel, cleaned and gutted (but with head)
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Optional Sides to Serve
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and set a roasting sheet pan inside to warm.
- Using a mortar and pestle, crush garlic with salt until smooth. Add coriander and cumin and continue crushing. Mix in parsley and dill.
- Pat the fish dry, inside and out. Remove the dark vein that runs along the back of the cavity, if it’s still there. And if needed, run your knife along the cavity to open it up some more. Salt generously inside and on both sides outside, then place on a lightly oiled piece of foil that is large enough to enclose the fish.
- Stuff the fish cavity with lemon slices and the garlic and herb mixture you just prepared. Drizzle generously with olive oil.
- Fold the foil over the fish lengthwise, tightly closing the top seam to trap the steam. Place the foiled fish on top of the hot sheet pan and bake in the 350 degrees F heated-oven for 30-40 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.
- Remove from heat and add the lemon juice. Serve immediately with suggested sides and salads (see ingredient list).
If you plan to serve this fish with Lebanese rice, cook the rice first before you work on the fish and set aside covered and undistributed until ready to serve. It’s a good idea to do as much of the prep for sides and salads as possible before you place the fish in the oven.
*This post was republished with an updated recipe in May 2017.
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