The idea of an impromptu barbecue on a Saturday afternoon, had me thinking of ways to create something different. A dash to my local fishmonger, to source fresh Mackerel heeded a great result. The idea of char grilling the Mackerel filled me with both excitement and apprehension. I was apprehensive as I knew the probability of the Mackerel splitting , when cooked was high. Grilling any fish on a barbecue is always a 'tricky' situation. A quick glance of the Waakye leaves in my fridge, made me grin silently as I knew I've found a solution. The Waakye leaf, has a distinct flavour that lends itself to any dish when served in it. I have a pet name for the leaves as my 'Natural Plate'. Enjoy the aromatic, smoky ,flavour of the 'whole' Mackerel and thank me later. Here you have a recipe created from problem solving.?
4 large cleaned whole fresh Mackerel (you can keep the head on if you prefer)
3 tablespoons of finely chopped lemongrass
16 individual spring onions, cleaned and halved lengthwise
250g washed Coriander
4 teaspoons of freshly grated ginger
4 tablespoons of olive oil
4 tablespoons of fresh lime juice.
Freshly milled black peppercorns
4 Waakye leaves cleaned with soap and water. (purchase from most African shops).
String to tie the fish.
Place each string in a vertical way and leaves in a horizontal way.
Place each Mackerel in the middle of each cleaned Waakye leaf.
Divide the lemongrass and ginger evenly and add to each Mackerel.
Rub the ginger and lemongrass into each mackerel well.
Divide the spring onions and coriander evenly, to each mackerel.
In a bowl mix the oil and lime juice together.
Add a teaspoon each of the marinade to the Mackerel
Season with freshly milled black pepper corns.
I have omitted salt from this dish as I used lime juice instead, however that a personal preference.
Bring each end of the leaves together, overlapping each other and tie the string to hold the leaves and fish together. (See below).
The mackerel needs to char grill on a medium heat for 3 minutes on each side. Disperse some of the heated charcoal to help control the heat.
Try grilling some tomatoes as well (optional) for a smoky raw pepper salsa.
Once cooked leave for 2 minutes and serve immediately.
Best served with with steamed vegetables, Yam or sweet potato chips or the African way with hot Kenkey or Akple with a smoky raw pepper salsa.
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