Spiced mackerel with green bananas


  • 2 whole mackerel, guts, head and tail removed

  • 1 lime, juice only

  • 4 green (unripe) bananas, ends trimmed, skin scored lengthways four times using a sharp knife

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ tsp ground allspice

  • 3 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil

  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped

  • 2 tomatoes, seeds removed, roughly chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1 Scotch bonnet chilli, seeds removed, finely chopped

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only

To serve

Preparation method

  1. Cut the body of each mackerel into three equal pieces. Squeeze over half of the lime juice. Chill in the fridge, covered, for 30 minutes to marinate.

  2. Place the green bananas, still in their skins, into a bowl. Pour over boiling water to cover the bananas and set aside for 15-20 minutes.

  3. When the mackerel pieces have marinated, place them into a medium-sized, deep-sided pan and cover with cold water. Bring the water to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cover the pan and simmer for 6-8 minutes, or until the mackerel is tender and completely cooked through. Remove the mackerel pieces from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on kitchen paper.

  4. When the mackerel pieces are cool enough to handle, remove the bones and skin and discard. Flake the flesh and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle over the ground allspice and drizzle over the remaining lime juice.

  5. Remove the green bananas from the bowl of water and, when cool enough to handle, discard the skins, using your hands or a sharp knife if necessary.

  6. Place the peeled green bananas into a pan and cover with cold water. Add one tablespoon of the oil to the water and bring the mixture to the boil. Cover the pan and boil the bananas for 12-15 minutes, or until soft. Set aside.

  7. Heat the remaining two tablespoons of oil in a frying pan. When the oil is hot, add the chopped onion and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until softened.

  8. Add the chopped tomatoes, garlic, chilli and thyme leaves. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Continue to cook for 4-5 minutes, or until all of the vegetables have softened.

  9. Add the mackerel flakes, stir carefully until well combined and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, or until the mackerel flakes have heated through.

  10. Remove the cooked green bananas from the pan of water using a slotted spoon and remove any brown bits. Cut the bananas into diagonal slices and add them to the pan, stirring to combine.

  11. To serve, spoon the spiced mackerel with green bananas into the centre of each of two or three serving plates. Sprinkle over the chopped coriander. Garnish each serving with 1-2 lime wedges.

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