Tea-smoked mackerel with horseradish potatoes and chive oil

Tea-smoked mackerel with horseradish potatoes and chive oil

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy

Hot smoking at home is easily done, and you don’t need a smoker – a simple smoking apparatus can be put together from a wok or roasting tin, a wire rack or trivet, and foil.


Quantity Ingredient
2 medium mackerel
1 orange
60g light brown sugar
60g white rice
20g jasmine tea leaves

For the chive oil

Quantity Ingredient
1/2 bunch chives
150ml extra virgin olive oil

For the horseradish potatoes

Quantity Ingredient
16-24 new potatoes, depending on size
55g butter
1-2 tablespoons creamed horseradish
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Fillet and pin-bone the mackerel. Finely pare the zest from half of the orange.
  2. To prepare the smoker, line a wok with a double layer of foil. Mix the sugar, rice, tea leaves and pared orange zest together and spread evenly over the bottom of the foil-lined wok. Put a steamer or wire rack inside the wok.
  3. To make the chive oil, coarsely chop the chives and place in a blender with the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Blend for 30 seconds until smooth, then pass through a fine sieve and set aside.
  4. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil. Add the potatoes, bring back to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer until tender. Drain and return to the pan.
  5. Place the mackerel on the steamer or wire rack, skin side down. Cover the wok with a double of layer of foil, making sure you seal it tightly around the edges, leaving a small opening to see when the smoking starts. Place over a medium to high heat. Once there is smoke coming out of the opening, seal the hole and leave for 3–5 minutes (depending on the size of the fillets), then remove from the heat. Leave to rest for 2–3 minutes before removing the foil lid.
  6. While the mackerel is smoking, add the butter to the potatoes and warm over a low heat. Lightly crush with a fork and mix in the butter with horseradish to taste. Season and keep warm.
  7. Place a pastry cutter on each of 4 plates. Divide the potato into 4 portions and press lightly into the cutters.
  8. Carefully remove the cutters and drizzle chive oil around the potatoes. Place a mackerel fillet over or on the side of the potato stack on each plate.


  • You can replace the horseradish in the potatoes with wholegrain mustard or wasabi. Hot raw beetroot with black pepper and lemon is also an excellent accompaniment to the hot-smoked mackerel.
Leiths School of food and wine
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