Bill’s recipes have featured in BBC Good Food magazine and Kingston Time & Leisure (Seniour and Junior editions). Bill also supplies monthy recipes for Newsquest titles such as Surrey Comet and Kingston Guardian.

Recipe Development for BBC Good Food

I bought some spanking fresh mackerel from the fishmongers

It was so fresh – it should have been driven straight home, coated in flour and tossed in a sizzling hot pan – instead it ended-up being tossed into the freezer…

It’s not generally recommended to home-freeze oily fish, such as mackerel.  But if it’s very fresh and filleted it will freeze successfully. However, regardless of the original freshness, when it defrosts, don’t expect to re-create that ‘straight-into-the-pan’ ultra-fresh eating experience. Happily, with mackerel you can adopt a more robust approach: bolder flavours will divert attention away from the fish’s distant landing date. A Japanese soy marinade or miso braise works well.


Cut the mackerel fillets into 3 or 4 pieces.

Put the sake, mirin, miso, sugar, and soy into a sauce pan and bring to the boil – add the ginger and return to the boil.

Place the mackerel in a single layer in the sauce pan and bring back to a simmer and cook on low heat for 5-10 minutes.

Strain the fish from the pan  – in this instance the liquid in the pan should be considered the braising broth, its purpose was to make the fish taste wonderful and is now largely redundant. However, a couple spoonfuls over the fish, watercress and rice or noodles will provide a good sauce and the seasoning. (Taste the sauce, but be aware that our palates are not always used to the sweet and salty intensity of Japanese sauces. It is likely to taste quite strong so further reduction will increase this effect. Make a judgement; reduce, leave as it is, dilute with chicken stock, white wine or water.)

Serve the fish on a plate with watercress. I served this with Japanese brown sushi rice with peas, courgette and chives.