BBQ Mackerel with Asian pesto

Whole mackerel works so well on a barbecue. It’s best straight out of the sea and onto the grill. And Asian pesto is the perfect complement, packed with herbs and fresh flavours, singing of summer.

Top tip: If during the cooking the barbecue flares up and the flames start to burn the fish, use a spray bottle containing water on mist and douse the flames.



1 bunch basil
1 bunch coriander
1 bunch mint
200g roasted peanuts or macadamia nuts
2 cloves of garlic
30g castor sugar
100ml toasted sesame oil
Juice of 2 limes
1 medium strength red chilli halved seeds removed and finely chopped
Peanut oil
Fish sauce to taste
4 large mackerel gutted and cleaned


Wash the herbs, dry and pick the leaves from the mint.

Blend the nuts, garlic and sugar. Add the herbs and create a paste before adding the sesame oil, lime juice and chilli.

Pour in the peanut oil until the right consistency is achieved and season with the fish sauce.

Cut the mackerel 3 or 4 times across the fillet on both sides to allow the heat to penetrate the fish and expose more surface area for charring.

Place the mackerel on the grill of the preheated barbecue and cook for 3 /4 minutes on each side.

Remove from the heat and leave for a couple of minutes before spooning over the pesto and serving.

BBQ-at-Watergate-Bay (1)

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