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.