Hederman's whole smoked mackerel, celeriac remoulade, mackerel cream, pickles, sea vegetables, beetroot and rye crisps

William J Cooper

Serves 2-4 | Modern European | First course or main salad
Prep Time: 60 mins mins | Cooking Time: 60 mins mins | Total Time: 1 hour, 30 mins mins

A whole beautiful smoked mackerel, broken open and paired with pickles, a smooth creamy mackerel patê, rye sourdough crisps, and soft celeriac remoulade. The iodine tang from the sea vegetables gives a lovely contrast in flavour to the rich smoky mackerel. Smoked paprika and bitter leaves give another flavour to this delicious starter. 

There are a lot of components here so don’t be put off, they can all be made well ahead of time and brought out on the day you wish to eat the dish. 

Best I think when you make the rye crackers to make some extra…it’s all very addictive, and you’ll have some mackerel paté left for later.


• 1 whole Hederman’s smoked mackerel, opened and skin removed and broken into sections– reserve the beautiful tail fin for an interesting finish to the plate

• Red chicory leaves

• Hedermans smoked paprika to dust the finished dish

• 3 little pieces of cooked red baby beetroot– boiled, peeled and left whole Mackerel Paté:

• 2 Hederman’s Beechwood smoked mackerel fillets with chillies and chives

• 3 tbsp of labneh ( Thick yoghurt, hung in a sieve overnight to remove the whey)

• 1 /2 lemon juice

• 1/2 tsp horseradish finely grated

• Hedermans smoked paprika to taste Pickled sea vegetables:

• A handful of foraged rock samphire

• A handful of foraged sea purslane

• 1 tbsp cider vinegar

• 1 tbsp olive oil

• A couple of twists of black pepper Celeriac remoulade:

• 300g celeriac

• 30 g capers

• tsp tarragon

• 50 g mayo

• 20g creme fraiche

• salt

• black pepper

Pickled cucumber:

• 1 cucumber

• 300ml rice wine vinegar

• 60g caster

• 5 g sea salt

• 1 thyme

• 1/2 tsp fennel seeds

Pickled fennel:

• 400g of fennel finely sliced

• 250ml of cider vinegar

• 35g of sugar

• 1 orange zest finely sliced

• 1 star anise

• 1 tsp salt

• 1/2 tsp black peppercorns

• 1/2 tsp fennel seeds

Sourdough crisps:

• a few ultra–thin slices of some stale sourdough (it doesn’t matter if they break up)

• drizzle of olive oil

• sea salt


• Remove the skin and any little bones from the mackerel fillets, place the meat in a bowl and add the other ingredients with horseradish, and paprika to taste. Then combine with a fork, until the mackerel has broken up into fine strands and season with salt and pepper.

• If you prefer the paté more creamy , add more of the yoghurt to your taste. Much the same with the other ingredients… If you want to add a little more or less then go ahead.


• Pick the leaves into little florets from both the sea purslane and the rock samphire and place in a small bowl

• Pour over some boiling water, count to ten and then strain and cover with ice cold water

• strain again and mix with the oil, vinegar and black pepper


• Peel and cut the celeriac into very thin matchsticks.

• Salt the celeriac lightly and set aside for 5 minutes on some kitchen paper to absorb the juice that the salt will bring out.

• Spoon the mayonnaise into a mixing bowl and add the capers, tarragon, and julienned celeriac. Make sure everything is completely coated and season to taste with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Set aside in the fridge


• Mix the rice wine vinegar, sugar, salt, fennel seeds and thyme in a saucepan and bring to the boil, ensuring that the sugar dissolves. Leave to cool

• Peel and cut the cucumber into thin slices using a Japanese mandolin, lightly salt for 10 minutes in a colander and squeeze to remove the water

• Add the cucumber to the cooled pickling liquor and set aside in the fridge


• Blanch the sliced fennel in boiling salted water for a minute, then strain and refresh in iced water– drain

• Bring the cider vinegar, orange and spices to a boil and leave to gently simmer for about 5 minutes

• Stir the sugar into the vinegar and taste, adjusting if necessary to your own preference

• Fill a container until well–crammed and keep till needed.


• Place the wafer–thin slices of sourdough on a baking sheet and drizzle a little olive oil over them. season with a little salt and bake in the oven at 200c for about 6 to 8 minutes, so they’re crisp and golden. Remove and let them cool. Break into misshapen shards when cool.


• Lay all your ingredients out in front of you, so you have everything to hand to build the dish, small dishes or pots are useful.

• Spoon the mackerel paté onto the plate in a couple of places to act as a cushion for the rest of the ingredients

• Assemble the mackerel fillet pieces along the length of the plate

• Add other ingredients as you think they should look. Little pockets of interesting ingredients next to each other to build a neat pattern / arrangement.

• Finish with a few of the chicory leaves tucked in, and lastly some of the sourdough crisps. Dust with a little smoked paprika and sit the little tail fin somewhere you feel it belongs.

Get stuck in I say.

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