Mackerel with fennel escabeche, orange and soy reduction

Mackerel with fennel escabeche, orange and soy reduction

Recipe by Chef Fred Wilson, Kikkkoman Masters 2015 Runner Up

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  • Serves4


  • 2x jumbo mackerel (whole and gutted)
  • 100g fennel oil
  • ½ cucumber
  • 4g Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 20g fennel tops
  • 8 cucumber flowers
  • 12 borage flowers (blue and white)
  • 50g fine sea salt
  • 60g rice wine vinegar

Poaching Broth:

  • 600g fish stock
  • 3 lemongrass, chopped
  • 10g ginger, sliced
  • 1 kaffir lime leaf
  • 2 star anise
  • 50g Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 20g fennel trim
  • 1g fennel seeds
  • 8g wakame seaweed
  • 5g dried cep

Orange and soy reduction:

  • 25g caster sugar
  • 5g ginger
  • 200g fresh orange juice
  • 15g Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 6g lemongrass

Fennel and shallot escabeche:

  • 1 small fennel
  • 1 shallot, peeled
  • 2g fennel seeds
  • 80g pomace oil
  • 80g white wine vinegar
  • 80g white wine
  • 10g caster sugar
  • 20g Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 1 orange zest


Remove fillets from mackerel, trim and place skin side down in rice wine vinegar. Leave for 30 seconds, remove and pat dry. Peel off membrane and rinse in cold water. Remove pin bones, separating the top fillet and belly.

Remove the outer layers of the fennel and trim the root part off keeping the shape of the bulb.

Put the fennel trim in a pan, add all the ingredients for the broth and bring to the boil, remove from the heat, cling film and leave to infuse for 10 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan and set aside.

Peel the cucumber, slice across and cut out to form circles. Salt cure for 5 minutes in 5g fine sea salt and 5g Kikkoman soy sauce. Rinse off under water and layer between cloth to dry. Store in the fridge.

In a separate pan put all the ingredients for the soy and orange reduction, bring to the boil, reduce the liquid for 10 minutes or until it weighs 30g. Pass off through a fine sieve and store in a small bottle.

Prepare the shallot and fennel for the escabeche. Slice the shallot into thin rings and separate individually. Slice the whole fennel thinly on a mandolin to obtain cross section slices.

For the escabeche(cooking time 8 minutes): add oil to a cold pan, place on the heat and add the shallots, season with salt, and warm quickly. Then mix in the fennel seeds. Add the sliced fennel and coat in the warm oil. Add the caster sugar and dissolve in the oil. Add vinegar, bring to the boil. Then add the white wine and 20g Kikkoman soy sauce and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat immediately and mix in the orange zest.

In a deep tray put the 4 mackerel belly skin side up, pour all the escabeche over while it is still warm to pickle the fish. Set aside but keep warm.

Place the top fillets of the mackerel in another deep tray. Bring the poaching broth to a simmer and pour most of it over the fish, save the remaining broth for the plate. Leave the mackerel to poach for 3-4 minutes. Remove the fillets and drain off excess liquid.

While the fish is poaching begin plating up.

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