Sechuan Button cured mackerel

Sechuan Button cured mackerel, buzz button pickled gorse, samphire, electric herb oil and buttermilk.



  • 25g salt per fillet  
  • 25g sugar per fillet  
  • orange, lemon, lime - zests only  
  • 5g Sechuan Button powder  
  • Mackerel fillets 

Buttermilk sauce:

  • 75ml yoghurt
  • 75ml buttermilk
  • salt
  • lime juice

Electric herb oil:

  • handful mint
  • 3 juiced limes
  • handful parsley
  • handful coriander
  • handful wild garlic
  • 1 whole perserved lemon
  • 8 Sechuan Buttons
  • 200ml rapeseed oil


  • 200ml white wine vinegar
  • 100g white sugar
  • 3 tsp coriander seed
  • 1 star anise
  • 6 Sechuan Buttons
  • gorse flowers
  • samphire



  • Dehydrate Sechuan Buttons over night in a low oven, blitz to a powder.  
  • Mix salt, sugar, Sechuan Button powder and zests together well and then coat the fillets entirely with the cure on a flat tray. Leave in the fridge for 1hr 30, wash cure off entirely in fresh cold water and allow fillets to air dry on a clean cloth. 

Buttermilk sauce:

  • Whisk all ingredients together and check seasoning.

Electric herb oil:

  • Blitz all ingredients well together in a blender, transfer sealed container overnight, pour into muslin and leave hanging over a bowl to catch the flavoured oil, never squeeze the muslin, this will cause a cloudy oil.


  • Heat all ingredients gently until sugar has fully dissolved, leave to cool and infuse before pouring over gorse and samphire in sterile jars.


  • Pour buttermilk sauce on the bottom of the plate and dot with with electric herb oil, peel the first layer of skin from the mackerel fillets and slice into miniature steaks, laying them in a sporadic pattern on the plate.   
  • Garnish with samphire, gorse and dill. 

Recipe: Darryl Quested

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