How to pickle mackerel sous vide

Pickled mackerel with buttermilk snow, cucumber and dill

How to pickle mackerel sous vide

Pickling food sous vide is particularly good as the flavour of the pickle is much more quickly absorbed by the food and the quantity of pickle liquid needed is much less than in conventional methods. You don't actually need to use a water bath – instead, it's the power of vacuum-sealing which allows the pickling liquid to force itself into whatever you're looking to pickle, reducing waiting time massively. Mackerel lends itself particularly well to pickling as the flavour of the fish is strong enough to stand up to that of the vinegar and any other complementary flavours that may be added.


  • 70ml of white wine vinegar
  • 30ml of water
  • 30g of sugar
  • 3g of salt
  • 4 mackerel fillets, pin boned
Mix together the vinegar, water, sugar and salt and stir until the salt and sugar have dissolved
Place the mackerel fillets flat in a vacuum bag ensuring that they are not overlapping and pour in the pickling liquid. Seal at full compression
Transfer to the fridge for 30 minutes then remove the fish from the bag and pat dry
The mackerel can be kept for up to 3 days once pickled


If you prefer the fish to be pickled further, leave it in the bag longer.

The pickle can be flavoured with various herbs and spices, such as coriander seeds, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaf and thyme. You could also try adding a little horseradish or chilli to the pickle for a bit of a kick.

To add colour to the fish, substitute the water for beetroot juice.

Serving suggestions