How to Cook King Fish

by Jane Smith ; Updated September 28, 2017

King fish mackerel is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids and supplies calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. While most people are more familiar with canned mackerel, king fish mackerel has better texture and taste when started raw. King fish lovers marinate it in lemon juice and olive oil, serve it sliced and fried with Caribbean green seasoning, toss it on the barbie, turn it into sashimi, make coconut curry soup, pickle it or serve it as a dip, among other preparations.

Pickled or Marinated

Slice across one whole, raw king fish to make 1/2-inch thick steaks. Lay half the steaks about 1/2 inch apart in one shallow glass baking dish with a cover to make marinated king fish. Reserve the other half of the steaks in a second baking dish to make pickled king fish.

Squeeze one whole lemon over the king fish steaks in the first glass baking dish. Brush each king fish steak with olive oil on all sides. Sprinkle 1 tbsp. fresh chopped parsley over the fish. Cover the dish and marinate in the refrigerator for two days before serving.

Toast 2 dried Kashmiri chilies, 1/3 tsp. cardamom seeds, 1/3 cinnamon stick, 1/3 tsp. whole cloves, 1/3 tsp. black peppercorns, 1 tsp. cumin seeds and 1 tsp.coriander seeds in a wok while stirring constantly. Pour toasted spices into a coffee grinder and whirl into a powder to make garam masala.

Fry the king fish steaks from the second baking dish in olive oil or your preferred oil for five to seven minutes or until they turn golden brown. Drain the fried king fish on paper towels and cut into 1-inch chunks.

Mince 2 cloves garlic and 1 1/2 oz. fresh ginger, and chop 10 curry leaves. Reheat the wok and add 1 tsp. olive oil. Add garam masala powder, curry leaves, garlic and ginger to the wok and stir-fry 1 minute to release the flavors.

Stir 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar into the masala mixture to make a paste. Stir the king fish chunks into the garam masala paste and toss gently until well-coated.

Jamaican Escovitch Fish Fry

Make green sauce by combining 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, 1 stalk of leafy celery, 5 cloves garlic, 2 green onions, 2 tbsp. water, a pinch of red sea salt, a banana pepper and a large shallot in a food processor. Pulse the ingredients until nearly liquefied and set aside.

Cut 1-inch thick king fish steaks from the second whole, raw king fish and lay them in the third shallow glass baking dish. Roll the 2 Key limes on a counter for 2 minutes while pressing firmly to make them easier to juice. Cut the ends off, slice the limes in half and squeeze them over the fish steaks.

Pour half the green sauce over the fish and marinate for 2 hours. Shake off the sauce and dredge each fish steak in cornmeal.

Deep-fry the fish steaks in your preferred oil for five to six minutes or until they float to the surface of the oil and turn golden brown. Remove the fish steaks from the fryer and drain on folded newspaper.

Place the drained king fish on a platter. Cut a medium red onion and the remaining two banana peppers into 1/4-inch thick rings. Sprinkle the onion and pepper rings over the king fish. Pour green sauce over the fish and surround it with grape tomatoes.


  • Fish steaks marinated in olive oil and lemon juice make a popular appetizer in Lesvos, Greece, where they are called "lakerda." Travel guide Matt Barret advises serving lakerda with ouzo, an anise-flavored alcoholic beverage. Garam masala will keep for one month refrigerated in an airtight container, according to Gourmet Sleuth. Escovitch is Jamaican for escabeche, a vinegar-based fish marinade with delicate flavor. Pickled king fish will keep for up to 20 days, according to Charishma Ramchandani of Pune, Maharashtra, who specializes in Indian cuisine. Green sauce usually incorporates "podima," or Spanish thyme, and "shado beni," or Eryngium foetidum, a culinary herb that tastes like cilantro but may be difficult to find, advises Caribbean cook Christopher De La Rosa. He also advises cutting your king fish steaks from the tail section of the fish instead of the belly.

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About the Author

Jane Smith has provided educational support, served people with multiple challenges, managed up to nine employees and 86 independent contractors at a time, rescued animals, designed and repaired household items and completed a three-year metalworking apprenticeship. Smith's book, "Giving Him the Blues," was published in 2008. Smith received a Bachelor of Science in education from Kent State University in 1995.