Found In The Russian Store:Smoked Mackerel

It always baffled me that the people who consume hundreds of pounds of raw fish wrapped in seaweed with some sticky rice and a cucumber are not storming their neighborhood Russian stores to get their hands on a vastly superior product – smoked mackerel. I am here to right this wrong.

Smoked mackerel is a medium-size fish with golden skin and an addictive smell. Cured by cold smoke, just like in the ancient times, its texture is similar to smoked salmon with a slightly salty smoky taste.

I usually cut it up in about one inch slices.

My Mom peels it whole and removes the backbone before she serves it. I am not that patient.

Just peel the skin off and pick the fish with your fingers, there are few large bones like backbone and ribs that are easily found and separated.

The fish is good on a rye bread with a thin layer of unsalted butter (optional – a slice of cucumber), or just by itself, as a hors d’oeuvre or as a bite to go with a shot of vodka.

Many types of fish products can be found in the Russian store – brined, canned, dried, semi-dried, hot-smoked, cold-smoked, cured and more. It’s not all about sushi, you know.

And now we dance – one of my favorite songs from an old Soviet trippy cartoon starring fish.

*Handling this fish will leave your hands smelly, it’s not a great date food, unless both participants partake.
*I am not in any way related, compensated or even known at the Russian store.

  • I still want to see a picture of your mom. Dang it.

  • Grace

    I demand a photo of the fish deskinned deboned and served on rye. There are STEPS after that last photo, and they must be shown.

  • Hands were greasy because I was eating the fish with bare hands without bread or butter.

  • Grace

    You will need to redo. Science demands.

  • …almost as good as smoked salmon. when i do eat mackeral – which is rare – i like to add capers and diced red onions.

    the cartoon really made the post – thank you.

    on an unrelated note, i ran across this site and could use a translation: are these prints from an old book? if so, what’s with the sudden appearance of The Cowboy about half-way through?

    Enquiring Minds…

  • Nick, these are illustrations to a 6-volume compilation of the works of Alexander Grin. They are not logically related to each other.
    I have few more cartoon songs here, this one is by a famous cartoon director, he had several like this,too bad none of them are translated.

  • I hate fish.

  • Rick in PV

    The thing about sushi is that, somehow, it doesn’t taste fishy, especially if you smother it in wasabi. Smoked mackerel, hacked up and torn to bits by hand? Uh, no thanks. Love you, though, Meesha!

    • Japanese brainwashed you people into eating weird raw things that you otherwise wouldn’t even touch. Go for the good stuff,so it’s a little smelly, big deal.

      • duh

        Actually… you’re just no cultured enough to appreciate varieties and nuances in food.. japanese have smoked products too.. sushi is just part of the arsenal… wasabi and the dried seaweed appreciated even by the greatest chefs in the world.. you are ignorant to even put down a food.

  • Some may recall that I had the pleasure of sampling this stuff in the hospitable presence of Meesha’s mother. I can vouch for the butter with the mackerel – really improves it. It isn’t nearly as fishy as you would expect either. The mackerel you get at a sushi bar or Korean place is much more potent and I don’t really care for it.

    • butter improves everything 🙂

  • Okay….so where is the nearest Russian store in Virginia?? 🙁

  • Just google “Russian Store” and your zip code. Here is one http://www.russiangourmet.com/

  • Awesome!! I had no idea there would be one that close to me. Thanks. 🙂

  • Grace

    The Russians are all around us, even where you’d least suspect them. A whole lot of them right there at CIA headquarters in Virginia. I just saw SALT and learned that.