Crispy Sichuan mackerel with asparagus and spiced, pickled rhubarb

Serves 2


    2 mackerels, filleted

    1 tbsp. Sichuan peppercorns 


    2 sticks rhubarb, slice into 2 inch pieces

    100 ml rice wine vinegar

    100ml orange juice (or water)

    2 star anise

    1 cinnamon stick

    1 tsp fennel seeds

    1 heaped tbsp. sugar

    1 inch ginger, grated

    1 lime- juiced

    2 bay leaves

    1 tsp. pepper corns


    handful asparagus

    1 garlic, thinly sliced

    ½ red chilli, thinly sliced


    2 tbsp. crème fraiche

    1 lime- juice and zest

    fresh coriander 


1.     Dry roast and grind up your Sichuan peppercorns. Place your mackerel filets on a board and drizzle over a little olive oil and sprinkle over the Sichuan and some salt and pepper, turn over and repeat. Leave whilst you prepare the rest.

2.     In a small saucepan add all of your pickling ingredients, bare the rhubarb, and place over a medium heat for 10 minutes. Taste and see if you want to adjust- you may need it a little sweeter. And then add the rhubarb, take off the heat. Make sure they are all covered.

3.     With a peeler, thinly slice lengthways the asparagus into long strips. In a frying pan add a glug of olive oil, over a medium heat start frying the garlic and chilli. Making sure not to burn, you want them to start browning a little. Then add the asparagus strips and toss. Add a little salt and pepper. Take off the heat. You want them to keep their crunch.

4.     Get a griddle pan pipping hot, and then place, skin side down the fish. Press with the back of a big spoon to keep flat. Cook for 5 mins until crispy. Then flip for no more then a minute.  Miss the crème fraiche with the lime juice and zest.

5.     Plate up- add a generous amount of asparagus, followed by two fillets per person, then the rhubarb pieces, with a drizzle of the pickling sauce, followed by the crème fraiche and some fresh coriander.