This terrific mackerel from chef Jose Enrique has a great array of textures and flavors: flaky fish fillets, airy pieces of fried eggplant and a super spicy garlic-and-citrus mojo sauce.
Slideshow: Quick Fish Recipes
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 habanero chile, seeded and minced
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon minced cilantro
1 tablespoon minced mint
Freshly ground pepper
Eggplant and Fish
1 1/2 pounds eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
1 Fresno or jalapeño chile, seeded and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
Canola oil, for frying
1 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
4 6-ounce Spanish mackerel fillets
How to Make It
Step 1 Make the Mojo
In a mortar, smash the garlic to a paste with the habanero, cumin seeds and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. In a saucepan, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the garlic-chile paste and whisk over moderately high heat for 30 seconds. Let stand off the heat for 10 minutes. Whisk in the citrus juices and let cool, then stir in the cilantro and mint and season with salt and pepper.
Step 2 Prepare the Eggplant and Fish
In a large bowl, cover the eggplant with water and add a small handful of salt. Let soak for 45 minutes.
Step 3 Prepare the Eggplant and Fish
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the citrus juices, ginger, chile, soy sauce and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat, stirring, until reduced to 2/3 cup, 12 minutes. Season the orange glaze with salt and let cool.
Step 4 Prepare the Eggplant and Fish
In a large saucepan, heat 1 inch of canola oil to 375°. Drain the eggplant and pat dry. In a colander set over a large bowl, toss the eggplant with the cornstarch, shaking off the excess. Working in 2 batches, fry the eggplant over moderately high heat, turning, until lightly browned and crisp, 5 minutes per batch. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the eggplant to a paper towel–lined baking sheet to drain.
Step 5 Prepare the Eggplant and Fish
Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. In a skillet, heat half of the orange glaze. Add the fried eggplant and toss over high heat until hot, 3 minutes. Fold in the cilantro and season with salt; keep warm.
Step 6 Prepare the Eggplant and Fish
Brush the mackerel with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Oil the grill grate or grill pan. Grill the fish skin side down until lightly charred on the bottom, 4 minutes. Brush the fish with the remaining orange glaze, flip and grill, brushing with the orange glaze, until just cooked through, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a platter and serve right away with the fried eggplant and mojo.
The mojo can be refrigerated for 1 week.
Zesty Albariño from Spain’s Galicia is a great match for oily fish like mackerel.
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Review Body: Caught a 28" Spanish Mackerel today and made this for dinner. Guests ate the fried eggplant with the glaze and mojito sauce as soon as it exited the frying pan and I had very little left to serve with the fish! Both sauces are great with fish and I would make this for chicken too. My guests loved it.