Omega-3 is a fatty acid that comes with a host of benefits. Chiefly, it’s thought to boost heart health. While it is found in walnuts, chia seeds, grass-fed meat and several vegetables, one of the best sources is oily fish, with mackerel, salmon, sardines, tuna and herring all boasting significant quantities.
NHS guidelines suggest a healthy diet should include two portions of fish per week, with one of those being an oily fish. Yet, according to a recent poll by OG Science and Wellbeing, the average Briton consumes oily fish once every six weeks (and a quarter of us can’t even name one).
The jury’s out on omega-3 supplements, and eating natural sources is thought to be more beneficial. Telegraph Food has raided its archives to find the tastiest oily fish recipes to help you boost your intake.
Diana Henry’s Indian-spiced mackerel fillets with mango, lime and chilli salad
For the mackerel
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed to a purée
- 3cm cube of fresh ginger, peeled and grated to a purée
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground fenugreek
- 2 tbsp tamarind paste
- ½ tbsp groundnut oil
- 4 tbsp lime juice, plus wedges for squeezing
- 8 mackerel fillets
- oil, for frying
- cooked rice, to serve
For the salad
- 2 just-ripe mangoes
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- juice of 2 limes
- 1 red chilli and 1 green chilli, halved, deseeded and finely cut
- 10g coriander (leaves and stalks, but make sure the stalks aren’t too long)
- sea-salt flakes
- Mix together the garlic, ginger, all the spices and tamarind paste. Stir in the oil and lime juice, and season.
- Spread this all over the mackerel fillets, cover and put in the fridge for about 15 minutes (longer is fine).
- Peel the mangoes and cut off the ‘cheeks’ (the bits that lie alongside the stone). Cut the cheeks into neat slices. Use the rest of the flesh from the mango for another recipe – or just eat it.
- Stir the caster sugar into the lime juice. Put the mango slices in a serving bowl and add the juice, chillies and coriander and toss with some sea-salt flakes to taste.
- Heat a thin film of oil in a large frying pan (or two) and, when it’s really hot, put the fish in, skin-side down. Let it cook over a high heat for a minute, then turn the heat down and cook for another minute.
- Carefully turn the fish over – try not to tear the skin – and cook for another minute, flesh-side down. Put the fish on a plate flesh-side up. Squeeze some lime over the top and serve with the salad, wedges of lime and some rice.
Stephen Harris’s easy baked salmon with homemade Thousand Island sauce
For the sauce
- 3 heaped tbsp mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp crème fraîche
- 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2 tbsp pickled red peppers (the sort available to purchase in jars), finely diced
- 1 tbsp red onion, finely diced
- 1 tbsp spring onion, diced
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp brandy or whisky (optional)
- Splash of Tabasco sauce, to taste
For the salmon
- 4 x 200g salmon fillets
- Squeeze of lime juice
- Dressed salad leaves, to serve
- To make the Thousand Island sauce, put the mayonnaise, crème fraîche and ketchup in a bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the peppers and onions and stir them in, then incorporate the vinegar, brandy or whisky (if using), a pinch of salt and a splash of Tabasco sauce to taste.
- Leave the sauce in the fridge for at least an hour for the flavours to meld together. Remove about 10 minutes before you want to serve it.
- Preheat the oven to 150C/Gas 2.
- Season the salmon fillets and then place them on to a non-stick baking sheet.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes until just cooked. The time will depend on the thickness of the fillet (a rough guide is that 2½cm of thickness means 10 minutes’ cooking) and allow for residual heat to finish cooking the salmon.
- Squeeze lime over the fillets and give them a light second seasoning of salt.
- Give the sauce a good stir and put a pool of it in the centre of each plate. Place a salmon fillet on the sauce and finish with some dressed seasonal leaves.
Rick Stein’s grilled sardines with chopped green herbs
You can use anchovies, small herring, small mackerel and sprats for this. If you are using bamboo skewers, soak them in cold water before using.
SERVES 4 as a starter
- 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
- ½ tbsp finely chopped rosemary
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
- ½ tbsp finely chopped pitted green olives
- ½ tbsp chopped capers
- ½ tsp sea salt flakes
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 8 sardines, cleaned and trimmed
- Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing and serving
- Lemon wedges, to serve
- Mix together the lemon zest, rosemary, parsley, garlic, olives, capers, salt and pepper.
- Preheat the grill to high. Pierce each sardine from head to tail with a skewer.
- Lay on an oiled baking tray and sprinkle with oil, salt and pepper. Grill for two minutes on each side.
- Serve the skewered sardines scattered with the herb mixture, drizzled with a little extra oil and with the lemon wedges alongside
Gallery: Chicken and rice dishes, perfect for week days [Popsugar]