Couscous and mackerel salad

Culture Food and Drink

The couscous and mackerel salad is a great, simple recipe requiring just a kettle, a chopping board, a large bowl and an enthusiastic chef! It takes 15 minutes tops (unless you’re cooking with a friend and there is wine involved, in which case be careful with the chopping). You can be super flexible with the vegetables; I used a mixture of fresh ingredients and pickled/jarred stuff for an added depth of flavour.

(Serves roughly 4)


  • 1 pack of smoked mackerel (3 fillets)
  • 2-3 cups of couscous
  • ½ cup of sundried tomatoes (to taste)
  • ½ cup of capers (to taste)
  • 2½ spring onions or red onions
  • 1 courgette
  • 1 large carrot
  • 3 cups of fresh spinach
  • ½ cup of fresh coriander (to taste)

For the dressing:

  • 2-3 tablespoons of Dijon mustard (to taste)
  • Garlic paste
  • Lemon juice
  • Soy sauce
  • 1 cube of vegetable stock



  1. Place the couscous in a large mixing bowl, add the vegetable stock, and cover with enough boiling water so that it is submerged by around 1.5 inches. Stir the vegetable stock into the couscous before covering the bowl with a lid, to cook the couscous, and set aside.
  2. Cut the onions, the sundried tomatoes and cooked mackerel into chunks. Grate the carrot and courgette, and if you are using fresh coriander (which I would recommend), cut this up as well. Set all of these ingredients aside.
  3. Check on the couscous around 5 minutes later and give it a stir. Add more boiling water if the couscous is still dry.
  4. If the couscous is fluffy and cooked, add in all of the ingredients and dressing, adjusting to taste, and voila!


Other recommended ingredients:

  • Add beans for added protein and to bulk up the recipe.
  • Charred red peppers – you can get these in jars.
  • Cucumber also works well if you want more fresh vegetables.
  • You can remove the mackerel to make the recipe vegan, but you may want to substitute it with another salty ingredient, like more capers or olives (if you’re a fan), since the mackerel provides a lot of the saltiness.

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