Pan Seared Mackerel with Pistachio Pesto


This recipe for Pan Seared Mackerel with Pistachio Pesto is from episode 8 of Fish the Dish starring Spencer Watts.

Serves: 4


  • 4 Mackerel fillets, 4 oz (110 g) each, skin on, bones removed
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 ml) Canola oil, for searing fish
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) Panko
  • 4 Tablespoons (60 ml) Parmesan


  • ½ cup (120 ml) Pistachios, shells removed
  • 1 cup (250 ml) Basil leaves, well packed
  • 1 cup (250 ml) Cilantro leaves, well packed
  • 1 cup (250 ml) Mint leaves
  • 1 cup (250 ml) Parsley leaves
  • ½ cup (125ml) Olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ jalapeño pepper, seeded and deveined (optional)

Yogurt Dip:

  • 1 cup (250ml) Yogurt
  • 1 clove Garlic, grated
  • 2 Tablespoons Chives (30ml), chopped
  • ½  Lemon, juiced
  • 4 Pitas


  1. In a food processor, blitz basil, mint, parsley, cilantro, pistachios, olive oil, and salt. Continue adding oil, a little at a time to get thick moist texture. Add jalapeño to final pulse. Transfer pesto to a bowl.
  2.  Combine yogurt, grated garlic, lemon juice, and salt in a bowl and set aside until ready to use.
  3. Set oven broiler on high.
  4. Rinse mackerel and pat dry. Run your finger down the centre of the fish to ensure that all the bones have been removed.  Pull any remaining pin bones out with your fingers or tweezers.
  5. Season fish with salt. Set a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Swirl in canola oil. When hot, lay fillets, skin-side down, in pan and press the fish into the skillet to ensure crispy skin. Cook 3-4 minutes or until skin is crisp and golden.
  6. Remove fish from the pan and place onto a baking tray skin side down.
  7. Spread pesto over the mackerel. Sprinkle grated parmesan and panko over top. Drizzle with a touch of oil.
  8. Place under the broiler to finish cooking for approximately 2 minutes.
  9. Drizzle oil on a pita, and season with salt and pepper. Grill on a grill pan for 30-60 seconds a side.
  10. Plate broiled pesto mackerel on the pita, and top with yogurt. Garnish with pistachios