Pan Fried Mackerel with Charred Spring Onions & Burnt Blood Orange Aioli

15 May 2024

Pan Fried Mackerel with Charred Spring Onions & Burnt Blood Orange Aioli


Rich in healthy omega 3 fatty acids, B12 and protein, mackerel is both delicious and nutritious. For this quick and light summer dish, simply pan fry fresh mackerel fillets for a few minutes until the skin is golden and crispy. Serve with charred spring onions, wedges of burnt orange and a side of citrus aioli.

For a casual al fresco lunch, spread crusty ciabatta rolls with the aioli then fill with warm mackerel and spring onions.  

  • Serves: 4
  • Preparation: 5 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Tip: A reliable non-stick pan will ensure that delicate ingredients like fish can be cooked with a crispy skin and flaky flesh, with easy release from the pan.


  • 200g spring onions or two bunches
  • 1-2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 blood oranges, quartered
  • 150g mayonnaise
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Pinch of saffron (optional)
  • 8 small mackerel fillets (or 4 large ones), skin on and pin-boned (ask the fishmonger to prepare the fillets for you)


  1. Heat a non-stick frying pan until hot and add 1 tbsp of oil.
  2. Add the spring onions and turn every now and until charred and soft. Remove to a plate, season with salt and pepper and cover to keep warm.
  3. Add the blood orange quarters to the frying pan and cook on the flesh sides until charred. Remove 4 quarters to a plate to serve with the fish. Squeeze the juice from the remaining 4 quarters and reserve in a small bowl.
  4. To make the aioli, place the mayonnaise, crushed garlic and saffron in a small bowl. Add 1 tbsp of the reserved orange juice and mix well. Season to taste.
  5. Season the mackerel fillets with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan until smoking hot.
  6. Add the mackerel fillets skin side down. Turn the heat to medium and cook for 3 minutes until the skin is golden brown and crisp.  Use a fish turner to press the fish onto the pan. Flip the fillets to the other side and cook for a minute or two. You may need to do this in batches.
  7. Serve the mackerel with the spring onions, orange wedges and aioli.