Smoked Mackerel and Egg Spread

When about two weeks ago Charles (Five Euro Food) posted the famous Kedgeree recipe, using smoked mackerel, I was very glad to discover a new way to prepare this delicious fish. In fact, even though I love smoked mackerel, I have been preparing it for many years in only one way.  I promised Charles I would write about it, so here it is!

The addictive mackerel and egg spread you see above comes from Poland, where smoked Atlantic mackerel is very popular and often ends up prepared this way. The spread is very quick to prepare and makes a wonderful everyday sandwich filler (it keeps for several days in the fridge), but I also find it perfect as a canapé topping. Maybe it is due to the big egg content, but somehow I thought it could be a nice idea of an Easter snack.

This spread goes well with all types of bread (even the “diet” crunchy one), but the canapés you see above were a real hit. I made them with a recent find: tiny round slices of my beloved German pumpernickel bread. If you can find this bread, I strongly recommend it not only with this spread, but with any pickled or smoked fish.

TIP: If you cannot find smoked Atlantic mackerel, you can substitute it with another smoked fish, but choose the one which has very delicate, flaky flesh (smoked salmon is not a good substitute here).

Preparation: 10 minutes

Ingredients (makes about 300 ml): 

150 g smoked Atlantic mackerel without skin or bones (I also discard the darkest flesh parts, because they tend to taste bitter)

2 hard-boiled eggs

1 big pickled cucumber (fermented in salted brine or pickled in vinegar, both are ok)

1/2 medium white or yellow onion (the red one I used looked better but was somewhat not strong enough here)

salt, pepper

2 – 3 heaped tablespoons mayonnaise

(chives to decorate)

Shred the fish with your fingers, discarding all the small bones and put it in a big bowl.

Chop the cucumber as finely as you can.

Chop finely the onion and the hard boiled eggs.

Combine all the ingredients with the shredded mackerel, add the mayonnaise, season with salt and pepper.

Mix everything with a fork. Taste, add some more salt and pepper if necessary (you may also want to add more onion or cucumbers depending on your preferences).

Serve cold.

59 thoughts on “Smoked Mackerel and Egg Spread

  1. sportsglutton

    I haven’t had a good German pumpernickel bread in so long and sadly the local German bakery doesn’t make one. I think I need to get back to Germany this summer. 🙂

    Hope you had a good weekend!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Hi, Sportsglutton. I’m happy you also love pumpernickel. I can luckily buy it here, but these mini slices imported from Germany taste much better than the Swiss-made pumpernickel. I hope you have had a nice weekend too.

  2. Mr. Three-Cookies

    This sounds awesome, bit similar to the herring salad you posted. I don’t think I have tried a smoked mackeral version. I might be coming across some smoked mackeral in the coming weeks, hopefully I will remember this dish.
    I am guess plain chicken eggs would be best for this, not the other unique version:)

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Mr. Three-Cookies. I have never made a link with the herring salad, but you are totally right! The texture is just different (spread vs salad). I suppose in some countries eggs, pickled cucumbers and fish are considered an obvious combination.
      Actually, when I was posting it I thought if there was one person who would almost for sure love it, it’s you 🙂 so I hope you try it when you see smoked mackerel.
      Plain chicken eggs would be absolutely sufficient here, no need to look for any special kind 😉

  3. Fraeulein Trude

    I like those snacks the most. Pumpernickel and smoked fish spread is a sure bet (mackerel, trout, halibut) even canned sardines crushed with some mustard and a sip beer will do. The sweetness of the bread and the darker more earthy notes make the difference.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Kiki. I bet you know better than me how to pair pumpernickel 😉 I also love sardine spread.

  4. Marion

    Dear Sissi, I love it! Smoked mackerel is one of my favourite fish. I prepare a little different version of this salad, next time I’ll use your recipe 🙂

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Marion, for your kind comment 😉 I must try your version next time.

  5. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles

    Sissi, I just love the presentation of your unique spread ~ are those pumpernickel (rye) rounds? So perfect against the light coloured egg/fish. I agree, crunchy cucumber and onion are great add-ons here. This is definitely a new way of preparing mackerel for me and I’m always on the lookout for delicious protein spreads (especially new ones!). Great photo Sissi.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Kelly. I’m all blushing reading your compliments 🙂 Yes, these are cute pumpernickel rounds I found one day in a supermarket. I love pumpernickel, so I took two packages at once.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Barb. Personally I prefer smoked mackerel from most of the smoked salmon (unless it’s organic or wild, which is alas not the majority sold in shops…). It’s always too fatty and bland for me. If mackerel look more attractive (like salmon does) it would be much more popular.

  6. Chopinand @ ChopinandMysaucepan

    Dear Sissi,

    Mackerel is one of my favourite smoked fish because the smoky aroma is simply divine. For some reason they have stopped stocking it in my supermarket. Great idea with the eggs as I normally just use mayonnaise, lemon juice and black pepper for a sandwich.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you, Chopinand. I think mackerel is considered as the second category fish and many people prefer smoked salmon (which in my opinion is really too fatty and awful when industrially farmed and smoked). I hope your supermarket will sell it soon.

  7. Hotly Spiced

    Doesn’t Charles have the best recipes! I love the way you have plated this. It looks like a dish to be served in a 5-Star restaurant. Gorgeous! Congrats. xx

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Charlie, for such a big compliment! (I still have to make Charles’ kedgeree… thanks for reminding me!).

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Liz. If you like smoked mackerel, you would like this spread I think.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Jeno. If you like both egg salad and smoked mackerel, you would love it.

  8. Juliana

    Wow Sissi, this egg spread looks and sounds so tasty with the smoked mackerel…I will try this with all the eggs from Easter 😉
    Thanks for this tasty recipe and hope you have a great week 🙂

  9. Charles

    Thanks for the mention Sissi – This looks wonderful! I love the darker flesh parts actually… I find they don’t taste bitter – they have a super soft consistency – it’s my treat when I’m peeling the fish and flaking it up 😀 Maybe I use mackerel fished in a different place though… not sure. I love the usage of a big pickled cucumber here – it reminds me a bit of the egg mayonnaise I make sometimes… I put a lot of gherkin or pickled cucumber and onion inside – I think this would make an amazing sandwich filling actually, in place of egg mayo! Will give this a try soon, thanks for sharing it! 🙂

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Charles. You inspire me and I wouldn’t probably make this spread so soon if it wasn’t for your Kedgeree and our conversation 😉
      You know, I have had different kinds of smoked mackerrel in my life and have always hated the dark part (even though many people eat it without thinking), so I suppose it’s like with the chicken cartilage: I love it and you hate it if I remember 🙂 When I peel the fish I sometimes end up eating half of the flesh before I start making this spread…
      If you can get a Russian/Polish brained cucumber it would be perfect! (It’s always in a whiteish, cloudy liquid), although normal pickled cucumbers are great too. They give a certain freshness and crunch (and acidity).

      1. shuhan

        sorry to crash this thread charles, but haha I am the same way, I can;t resist nibbling on smoked mackerel, ending up with only half the original :/ i’m a horrible nibbler when it comes to cooking actually.

  10. ping

    Awww … while reading the beginning of the post, I was just thinking about the smoked salmon sitting in my fridge and then I read, not recommended … sigh.
    Lovely shot, Sissi.
    I guess I’ll have to go get myself some smoked mackerel then. This is too delicious to ignore!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Ping. I suppose you could give it a go with salmon, but since it will not flake on its own, you would have to mix it in a food processor before. Might be a good modification, but I don’t guarantee the results! Let me know if you try it with salmon.

  11. Reem | Simply Reem

    What a wonderful idea for snack Sissi,
    I love how this spread is loaded with flavors and on the top of it it is healthy too…
    I am hoping my kids will like it to… Will try it over the weekend!!

  12. Martyna@WholesomeCook

    Hi Sissi, when I saw the title of your post I knew exactly what you’ve made, but you know what the greatest thing about it was? I was at a Polish deli just yesterday and bought some smoked mackerel to make this! It’s very hard to come by in regular delis and fish shops here in Australia! YUUUM!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Wow! What a coincidence! I do get smoked mackerel quite easily here (even organically smoked in France), but unfortunately only smoked in fillets, which means the flesh is not as soft and moist as I would like. No Polish grocery shop here alas. Good luck with your mackerel spread!

  13. Karen (Back Road Journal)

    Hi Sissi, This sounds similar to a fish spread that we used to make when we live in Key Largo, Florida. It was made with smoked amberjack, a local slightly oily fish that had a delicate flake to it.

    1. Sissi Post author

      Incredible! The cuisines of very distant places are sometimes so surprisingly similar!

  14. Nami | Just One Cookbook

    Hi Sissi! Atlantic mackerel is easy to find but not sure smoked one. I love how you used the smoked fish in the spread. First, it’s nutritious and second the flavor must be amazing. I really don’t see too many good fish recipes and glad you make delicious one!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Thank you so much, Nami. I’m sure as someone who likes fish in general, you would love it. If you ever see any flaky smoked fish, do try it with this recipe. I hope you are having fun in Japan!

  15. Helene Dsouza I Masala Herb

    I remember very well Charles post about the kedgeree, I fell in love with the dish too just be reading the ingredients and the concept of the recipe.
    Pumpernickle bread? where did u find that. lol I swear I have never heard that before. its always nice to learn something else and I am looking forward to try your spread soon Sissi!

    1. Sissi Post author

      Hi, Helene. I was sure pumpernickel was also popular in Austria! (Even though it’s German). Sometimes I assume the very famous Central European products are more or less known in several Central European countries. I love the caramelised, but bitter taste of this dark, rich bread. It’s perfect with fish and stores very well too.

  16. Bea

    Slicznie podane! Naprawde bardzo ‘dekoracyjne’ 🙂
    A wedzonej makreli nie jadlam juz wieki! Moze sie skusze po Swietach…

    1. Sissi Post author

      Dzieki serdeczne, chociaz moje zdjecia sa dalekie od tego jakie bym chciala robic… Myslalas o dawaniu lekcji fotografii? 😉 Ja teraz znalazlam makrele “bio” w pobliskiej Francji, wiec kupuje czesto bo jest o wiele mniej slona niz ta zwykla.

  17. Bea

    Mam nadzieje, ze to tylko zart z tymi zdjeciami! Musimy sie razem wybrac na warsztaty u Tartelette 😉
    Ja makrele jadlam tu kilka lat temu i nawet nie pamietam, jaka byla w smaku (ale ja malo ‘rybna’ jestem…).

    1. Sissi Post author

      To nie byl zart! Twoje zdjecia sa perfekcyjne. Widac nie tylko zamilowanie do jedzenia, ale do fotografii i przede wszystkim nieprzecietne zdolnosci w obydwu domenach.

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