Another gem from Ivan, this recipe is up there at the top of my list of favourite things to eat. Much like the duck pancakes you get in Chinese restaurants (or indeed, China!), these are made with sustainable mackerel, which also happens to be stunningly good for you. Insanely good!


  • 8 fillets of mackerel, free from all bones, skin on

  • 2 tsp soy sauce

  • 2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder

  • 16–20 Peking pancakes

  • 2 tbsp hoisin sauce

  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce

  • 5 spring onions, trimmed and cut into matchstick-sized julienne

  • ½ cucumber, cut into matchstick-sized julienne

  • For the marinade

  • 2 tsp sesame oil

  • 2 tsp soy sauce

  • 2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder


  • 1.

    Mix all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl and add the mackerel fillets, then turn them to ensure each fillet is well covered. Leave to marinate for 10–30 minutes, or a couple of hours would be great, but it’s not essential.

  • 2.

    Place the mackerel, flesh side down, in a cool frying pan, put on a medium heat and allow to come up to temperature and the oils can escape from the fish. Cook for 10 minutes or so until golden. Flip the fish over and break the flesh apart with your fish slice as it cooks. Sprinkle the soy and five-spice into the pan at this stage and fry for a further 10–15 minutes until the fish is golden and completely broken

  • 3.

    Up into chunky pieces.

  • 4.

    Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F), Gas mark 3. Place the pancakes on a plate with a bowl over the top and warm in the oven. Mix the hoisin and oyster sauces with 2 tablespoons of water in a bowl.

  • 5.

    Serve the stack of warm pancakes and a bowl of the warm cooked mackerel bits with the spring onions, cucumber and hoisin/oyster sauce mix. Allow people to make up their own pancakes and eat with their fingers.

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