Mackerel is one of the most popular marine fish as it is delicious, tender, nutritious. It gets fried, boiled, baked, smoked, and, of course, salted and pickled in brine. Juicy, oily mackerel meat will appeal to many. Pickling mackerel is an easy enough process, and you get a great appetizer to serve on a festive table. You will spend very little time on the entire procedure, and the result will undoubtedly please you.

Check out my Whole Baked Mackerel with Lemon and Rosemary Recipe.

Mackerel is a versatile fish. Thanks to its delicate fillet and aroma, it goes well with any dish: potatoes, grains, salads, or as an independent dish. The main thing here is to choose the right fish. It must be of high quality to give you the best result whether you have chosen to pickle mackerel in the brine or make salt-cured mackerel.

How to pickle mackerel at home?

Pickled mackerel is a perfect example of a quick and easy dinner that you can make in advance. However, as for any cooking method, some peculiarities, tricks, and tips can be used to get the best result for your homemade pickling mackerel:

  • If you choose to brine whole fish, then the weight of each mackerel in the recipe should be about 10 to 15oz (300 to 400 g). When salting or pickling, mackerel tends to give off moisture. Small, already lean fishes may turn out too dry.
  • You can use both fresh and frozen mackerel. Make sure that the fish is fresh. You can determine it by its elasticity and light-grey color with defined stripes; there also should be no unpleasant ammonia-like smell.
  • Do not use iodized salt for pickling as it can make the brine cloudy and the texture of the fish fillets loose.
  • If you want to get mackerel pickles quicker, then you should definitely choose fillets instead of the whole fish and then slice them. When the whole fish needs at least 48 hours to pickle in salty brine, slices fish fillets will be ready in 12 to 18 hours depending on their size.
  • Always cool down the brine before pouring it over the mackerel. The fish can start cooking in hot liquid.
  • Always use nonreactive cookware for pickling and fermenting food. The best options are glass jars, ceramic pans, and pots with lids, and, as the last option, plastic buckets and food storage containers with lids.
  • Always keep the pickling time as stated in the recipe, and store pickled mackerel in the fridge.

If you like pickled fish, then there is another recipe to check out: Pickled Silver Carp Recipe.

Pickled mackerel recipe without vinegar

I love mackerel for its versatility and availability during the whole year (whether it is fresh or frozen). Today`s recipe is one of the easiest ways to pickle fish and get the tastiest result. We will use salty brine with a variety of spices and no vinegar. So, if you want to know how to make pickled mackerel with coriander at home, keep reading the post:

Coriander Pickled Mackerel Recipe with no Vinegar

Learn how to pickle mackerel in salty brine at home!
Prep Time10 mins
Resting Time12 hrs
Total Time12 hrs 8 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: International
Keyword: how to cook pickled mackerel, how to make pickled mackerel, how to pickle mackerel, pickled mackerel in salty brine, pickled mackerel recipe
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 249kcal


  • 2 mackerels (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 l water
  • 3 tbsp pickling salt
  • 1 ½ sugar
  • 5 black peppercorns
  • 2-3 whole allspice berries
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves
  • ½ tbsp coriander seeds


  • If you bought frozen mackerel, defrost it in the fridge. Remove the guts, get rid of the head and tail (you can also get rid of the backbone and leave only the fillets of the fish). Rinse it thoroughly under running water, pat it with paper towels and cut it into somewhat medium slices.
  • Make the brine. In a saucepan, combine water with sugar, salt, and all the herbs. Let it simmer on the stove until sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from heat, and let it cool down.
  • Place the slices of mackerel in a glass jar and pour cooled-down brine over it. Make sure that mackerel is fully submerged in the brine, and close the lid.
  • Let mackerel slices pickle in the salty brine for at least 12 hours in the fridge. I usually leave it overnight. You can store pickled mackerel for up to 7 days in the fridge.


*calories per 100 g

If you liked the Pickled Mackerel recipe in salty brine, I would highly appreciate it if you would share it with your friends or give the recipe a star review! I hope that you found all the necessary information, and it was helpful. As always, you can share your thought on the recipe in the comment section.

Write A Comment

Recipe Rating

Pin It
We use cookies in order to give you the best possible experience on our website. By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies.