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Pan Fried Mackerel with Warm Potato and Fennel Salad

Settling into my new neighborhood – the Pijp – in Amsterdam, this weekend I ventured out into the infamous Albert Cuyp market to buy me some treats to fill my fridge. There was so much on offer from fresh herbs, fruit and vegetables to meat and fish. This was truly an opportunity not to be missed – no way was I going to the local grocery store for my usual fix-up.

Stopping at a vegetable stall my gaze fell upon fennel. I have never cooked with this ingredient before, and I was well up for the adventure! With a few other green treats in my bag I walked over to another stall for the freshest fish one can find in Amsterdam.

Asking the guy for a suitable catch to accompany my fennel he offered me salmon and tuna; BORING – I thought. And that was when he finally made sense and suggested mackarel. I walked home a happy woman with my fish filleted and just a few simple ingredients to complement my find. And what would I make? Pan fried Mackerel with a warm potato and fennel salad – mmmmmmm!

Pan Fried Mackarel with warm Potato and Fennel Salad

Now, this is the very first time I have attempted to make this dish and also the first time I have cooked or eaten fennel or mackerel. But I couldn’t have enjoyed this plate of food any more than I did!


1 mackarel filleted

4 large potatoes, peeled and chopped

1 medium red onion thinly sliced

1 fennel thinly sliced

1 tbsp olive oil

1-2 lemons

salt and pepper to taste


Boil the potatoes till cooked, drain and add the sliced onions, fennel, olive oil, lemon juice and season to taste.

Lightly season the fillets of mackarel. Heat a drop of olive oil in a frying pan and add the fillets skin side down.

Press lightly to avoid curling. Once brown on one side, cook on the other side till cooked through.

Once cooked, place the fried fillets on a bed of the warm potato salad and squeeze over a little extra lemon juice.

Voila – bon appetite!