Spanish Mackerel

Spanish Mackerel

spanish mackerel


When Caught

Year round, with peak supplies of Spanish mackerel occurring in September and October and grey mackerel in July and August

Important Features

Wild/Farmed Wild

Habitat Saltwater, Caught in open water and near reefs

Recovery Rate Fillets: 80% from Spanish mackerel trunks


Chilling mackerel immediately on capture will help ensure a high-quality product.

Mackerel species are sometimes responsible for ciguatera fish poison-ing and scombroid fish poisoning (histamine).

In Japan, the generic common name for members of the genus Scomberomorus is sawara while for members of the genus Scomber, saba is used.

Imports India, Myanmar and Thailand: Spanish mackerel fillets

Common Size 55-125cm

Overseas Names

D: Indische K Ænigsmakrele, Spanische Makrele; GB: Commerson s mackerel, cybium, seer; J: yokoshima-sawara; RI: tenggirri; T: insi, thu insi; USA: striped seer; ZA: katonkel, koning-makriel

Grading standard grades exist but whole Spanish mackerel are sometimes graded as presented below.

Nutrition Facts

per 100g of raw product

Kilojoules na
Cholesterol 36mg
Sodium na
Total fat (oil) 3.0g
Saturated fat 50% of total fat
Monounsaturated fat 30% of total fat
Polyunsaturated fat 20% of total fat
Omega-3, EPA 75mg
Omega-3, DHA 281mg
Omega-6, AA 66mg

Cooking Ideas

Bake   Deep Fry
Grill/barbecue Poach Raw
Shallow Fry Smoke Steam/microwave

Among Australia s most popular commercial fishes (particularly in the north of the country), mackerels have a thin, edible skin with few scales making them very popular to enjoy when dining out or at home. Spanish mackerel, an especially good eating finfish, produces an attractive plate-size cutlet or an essentially boneless fillet.

Mackerel can be fried, baked, poached, grilled, marinated, smoked and barbecued it is considered by some to be the best barbecue fish in the South Pacific. One should always take particular care not to overcook mackerel, and if the mackerel is being fried it should first be lightly salted. Mackerel frames are excellent for fish stock.

The high oiliness of these species often requires the addition of an acid to balance the richness. This is easily achieved by baking the mackerel with vinegar and vegetables that, in turn, will give the mackerel a slightly pickled taste and provide a balance of flavours. Mackerel is also perfectly suited to an aromatic herb crust, served with baked tomatoes and anchovy butter.

Some mackerel is deep fried in fish and chip shops in northern Queensland. This cooking method is otherwise uncommon for mackerel.

Flavour Strong, Distinct, fishy flavour

Oiliness Medium to very High

Moisture Dry to Medium

Texture Medium to firm

Flesh Colour Light pink to white

Thickness Medium fillets

Bones There are only a few bones and these are easily removed.

Suggested Wines

Smoked or marinated mackerel is enhanced by the effect of crisp, dry white wine to counterbalance its natural oiliness.

If the mackerel is simply smoked, select a racy sauvignon blanc.