Also known as:

Common or Atlantic mackerel, Spanish mackerel, Japanese mackerel, Norwegian mackerel, tinker mackerel, Pacific or Indo-Pacific mackerel, slimey or blue mackerel, king mackerel, kingfish (king fish), sear fish.


Waters:Most species are harvested off the Atlantic coasts of Europe and North America there is a Pacific variety as well.

There are many species of mackerel most are iridescent bluish-green in color with dark horizontal stripes. Common (also known as Atlantic) and tinker mackerel weigh 1 to 2 lbs. on average, while Spanish and king mackerel tend to be somewhat larger.

The firm, dark flesh of the mackerel is fatty and rich with a strong, sweet flavor. The high fat content of the meat should not deter you - most of this is "good" fat rich in Omega-3 oils only a trace amount is of the cholesterol variety. Mackerel is a scaleless fish the skin is edible.

Best Cooking:

It's a good idea to complement the rich, fatty meat with acidic ingredients like citrus- or tomato-based sauces or marinades. You can do almost anything with mackerel - the firm flesh broils, grills, bakes, poaches, and sautes nicely. It can also be minced and used as the base ingredient for Thai-style fish cakes.
When using salted mackerel, soak it overnight in cool water to reduce the saltiness.

Buying Tips:

An oily fish, mackerel does not freeze well it's best purchased fresh from the sea. Look for bright, iridescent skin (the fish tends to lose its shimmer soon after the catch-the extent to which the skin has faded should give you a sign of how long the fish has been sitting in the market). It should smell fresh and of the sea.

Nutrition Value:

Mackerel (cooked, dry heat), 1 fillet (3 oz.) (84.9g)
Calories: 230
Protein: 21g
Carbohydrate: 0.0g
Total Fat: 15.7g
Fiber: 0.0g
Excellent source* of: Selenium (45.4mcg), Niacin (6mg), Vitamin B6 (0.4mg), and Vitamin B12 (16.7mcg)

When cooked (dry heat), Atlantic mackerel provides 1.316 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, derived from EPA** (0.504 grams), DHA*** (0.699g), and ALA**** (0.113g), per 100 grams of Atlantic mackerel.
When cooked (dry heat), king mackerel provides 0.401 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, derived from EPA** (0.174g) and DHA*** (0.227 grams), per 100 grams of king mackerel.

*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily Value.
**EPA - Eicosapentaenoic Acid
***DHA - Docosahexaenoic Acid
****ALA - Alpha Lipoic Acid

Substitutes for Mackerel:

Bluefish, butterfish, mahi-mahi, pompano, striped bass, tuna.


Mackerel is not a bony fish you can fillet it yourself, without the help of a fishmonger, if you wish.

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