Mackerel is used in a variety of different recipes. However, many don’t know much more than that. So what does mackerel taste like? Read on to find out!

Fresh mackerel is not difficult to cook. It is a versatile food that you can prepare in various ways. However, many people still have not eaten this fish even though they have seen it many times.

So what does mackerel taste like, what is the best way to cook it, and should you eat it raw? This blog answers all those questions and more!

What Does Mackerel Taste Like?

The fish has a mild taste which is a little salty and a little sweet. Most people describe the taste as oily and a little bit fishy, which some don’t enjoy. It is because the fish is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids. 

Their flesh is sticky and firm but quite tender and fresh tasting when it’s hot off the grill. Some say it tastes a little more like tuna than salmon, and it is also often served as sashimi or sushi. 

It is delicious when fresh but turns a bit stinky and inedible when not fresh, so only buy from a reliable seafood seller. Of course, it can taste different, depending on the preparation method and how you cook it.

Can We Eat Raw Mackerel?

There is always an ongoing debate about whether it should be eaten raw or cooked. Yes, you can eat it raw!

According to experts, healthy raw sea fish is safe to eat, not to mention that this fish is a good source of protein, phosphorus, and omega-3 fatty acids.

However, watch out for parasites! Personally, we recommend you to eat the cooked one, but there are many like the French and Asians who love eating raw seafood.

The Best Ways To Cook Mackerel

There are many ways to eat this seafood. You can grill, saute, broil, deep-fry the flesh, or you can even bake them. The beauty of this seafood is that it is a versatile fish to cook in so many ways, and it will still taste great.

However, this oily seafood is a swell candidate for the grill, where its flesh firms up and develops an extra-crisp crust. Season with sea salt and some lime juice, or serve straight away with a side of pineapple salsa to add sweetness and tang.

This method preserves the delicate flavor and brings out the sweetness of the fish. The fish pairs well with other types of similar textures such as tuna or salmon, especially when it’s pan-fried whole.

It also does well with similarly assertive flavors like mustard and mint. Avoid creamy sauces as the richness of fresh mackerel itself is enough. For those who have never eaten this kind of food before, it’s worth trying!

How To Reduce The Fishiness In Mackerel?

This seafood has a rather strong fishy smell that can be off-putting for some people. Here are a few tips to reduce the fishiness of it:


The juice of one lemon can be used on its own in place of vinegar to eliminate the fishy smell coming from fresh seafood.

Dip your cleaned fish in a mixture of 1/3 water and 2/3 lemon juice, let it dry, or you can squeeze the juice over the skin and leave it to rest for a couple of minutes before drying off with kitchen paper.


You can soak it in one cup of vinegar mixed with six cups of water for approximately five minutes. After it has soaked, pat dry with a paper towel before cooking.


Besides being great for adding flavor to food, ginger can also get rid of the smell of seafood. Crush some fresh ginger and gently cover the skin for half an hour before cooking it.


Rub some salt over the skin, let it sit for 5 minutes, and then wash off. It helps reduce the fishy smell much more pleasant before cooking your catch to perfection.


Since a fishy smell develops from compounds, acidic will help decrease the fishy smell.

Let it sit in milk for an hour. Milk contains lactic acid, an additional cleansing agent to promote deodorization. It is because lactic acid has natural deodorizing properties.

Related Question: What Does Catfish Taste Like?

Another question we got is, “What does catfish taste like?” It is understandable because catfish is not a common dish in everyone’s meal.

Some fishermen say that catfish tastes like chicken and others that its flavor is like cod. Either way, it’s a mild white fish and has a flaky, delicate texture.

Its flesh is also rather dense, so if you love the flavor of haddock, flounder, sole, or tilapia, you might find catfish to be quite enjoyable to eat.

Final Thoughts On What Does Mackerel Taste Like?

So to sum it up, after knowing what does mackerel taste like, this seafood is great to eat. It is affordable, delicious, and can be used in several recipes.

So what do you think? Are you going to start adding this fish to your next meal? We hope you enjoyed our article about this seafood and if you have any other questions, please reach out anytime!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *