Fried Spanish Mackerel with Pesto Recipe

Serves/Makes: 3 servings


  • 3 Spanish mackerel (tanigue) steaks, each about 1 1/2-inch thick
  • Salt and pepper
  • 4 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 - 3 tablespoons homemade pesto (see the recipe below)
  • 1 - 2 tomatoes, sliced (to garnish)
  • 1 - 2 hard-boiled eggs, sliced (to garnish)
  • Chopped parsley
How to cook Fried Spanish Mackerel with Pesto:
  • Rinse the fish steaks under running cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Heat cooking oil and sesame oil together. Pan fry the fish steaks over high heat, about 3 minutes per side (it's a crime to overcook fish, seriously).
  • To serve, drizzle the pesto over the fish.
  • Serve the fried Spanish mackerel steaks with sliced tomatoes and eggs. Sprinkle everything with chopped parsley.

Homemade Pesto Recipe

Homemade Pesto Ingredients:

Makes about 1 cup

  • 1 1/2 cup basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes (with a little of the oil)
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons calamansi (or lemon or lime) juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • A light drizzle truffle oil*
How to cook Homemade Pesto:
  • Place everything in the blender or food processor.
  • Pulse several times get the motor running and to roughly chop up all the ingredients.
  • Process for about 30 seconds for a chunky mixture. Process longer for a smoother mixture.
  • Taste, add more salt, pepper or calamansi juice, if needed. Pulse a couple of times to blend.
Fried Spanish Mackerel with Pesto recipe
Fried Spanish Mackerel with Pesto recipe
Fried Spanish Mackerel with Pesto recipe


The Fried Spanish Mackerel with Pesto a very simple dish, really, but the specks of green, the bright red of the tomatoes and the contrast with the white and yellow of the salted eggs transformed it into a feast for the senses.


*Truffle oil is meant to be a finishing oil, rather than a cooking oil used for sauteing or frying. This means it’s best used just before serving: drizzled over soup, risotto, or seared fish, or used in combination with olive oil and whisked into a simple vinaigrette.

Most commercial truffle oils are concocted by mixing olive oil with one or more compounds like 2,4-dithiapentane (the most prominent of the hundreds of aromatic molecules that make the flavor of white truffles so exciting) that have been created in a laboratory; their one-dimensional flavor is also changing common understanding of how a truffle should taste.

This recipe for Fried Spanish Mackerel with Pesto serves/makes: 3 servings

The Fried Spanish Mackerel with Pesto recipe and pictures are adopted from The Philippine Cookbook.

Main Ingredient: Mackerel (more Mackerel recipes)
Preparation Method: Pan Fried/Sauteed (more Pan Fried/Sauteed recipes)
Cuisine: Filipino (more Filipino recipes)

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