Smoked Mackerel Stew

Do you love the smoky flavor of smoked fish but aren’t sure how to incorporate it into a delicious stew? Look no further! This smoked mackerel stew recipe is the perfect way to enjoy a cozy, comforting meal that packs a flavorful punch. In just a few simple steps, you’ll have a savory, smoky stew that is sure to be a hit with family and friends.

This classic Smoked Mackerel Stew traditional Nigeria dish is made of savory smoked mackerel coated with sweet and pungent pepper sauce. The fusion of these vegetables and fish certainly makes the perfect combination! 

smoked mackerel stew

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The smoked mackerel is coated in the African pepper source to infuse the fish with the best flavors. It’s also family-friendly because you can pair it with almost any side dish! Not only is it easy to make, but it’s also packed full of protein and healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Read on to discover the secrets to making the perfect smoked mackerel stew!

How to Make Smoked Mackerel Stew

Cooking Smoked Mackerel Stew is like hitting two birds with one stone. You will learn how to smoke mackerel and how to make pepper sauce! 


Here is everything you need to make Smoked Mackerel:

Smoked mackerel

Mackerel is a flavorful seafood you can smoke, air fry, bake, or fry. Once cooked, it will have a tender texture, pleasant aroma, and rich flavor. It is usually seasoned with salt because of how tasteful it already is. Be sure to read how it’s made.

Did you know that smoked mackerel is one of the best ways to store mackerel? Moreover, it’s good for your heart, brain, immunity, and lifestyle! 

Put your mackerel to good use by adding them to Moi Moi, Fish Rolls, and Egg Omelet Toast

Peppers and scotch bonnet

Pepper sauce is mainly made of bell peppers and sweet peppers. Their diverse taste and fragrant aroma make the sauce extra appetizing. This combination also works for Jollof Rice, Egusi Soup, and Fish Stew

Meanwhile, a scotch bonnet adds a kick of spice to balance the sweetness. It also makes the dish extra savory and smokey.


How can you further improve the pepper sauce? Add tomatoes! Their sweet and sour flavor complements the peppers in color and taste. I also suggest these for making Spaghetti, Pizza Sauce, and Tortilla Wrap


For the aromatics, use garlic, red onion, and white onion. They also have a pungent flavor and amazing aroma that can improve almost any dish! 

The red onion has a mild flavor, making it good to use even if raw. It will be used to make the pepper sauce. Meanwhile, the white onion has a sweeter flavor and crunchy texture, making it suitable for frying. 

Herbs and spices

Take your Smoked Mackerel Stew to the next level by seasoning it with herbs and spices. Just use curry powder, mixed herbs, knorr cubes, smoked paprika, and salt to bring out the best flavors in this dish.

Corn oil

Corn oil has a high smoke point and neutral flavor. It can properly cook the pepper sauce without burning it. Moreover, frying the sauce gives the dish an overall better flavor.

Add these to your grocery list to make Smoked Mackerel Stew for your next celebration


Put your apron on, and let’s get cooking! 

Prepare the pepper sauce and smoked mackerel

  1. Rinse the fruits and vegetables – tomatoes, sweet peppers, bell peppers, scotch bonnet, red onion, and garlic.
  2. Then, slice them using a knife.
  3. Pulse the tomatoes, sweet peppers, bell peppers, scotch bonnet, red onion, and garlic in a blender until roughly chopped.
  4. Debone and break the smoked mackerel into chunks.

Cook the smoked mackerel stew

  1. Heat corn oil in a frying pan over medium fire.
  2. Fry the diced white onion for a minute. 
  3. Stir in the pepper sauce and cook until the sauce thickens.
  4. Season the sauce with curry powder, mixed herbs, smoked paprika, sea salt, and knorr stock cubes.
  5. Then, mix the stew with a wooden spatula.
  6. Fry the sauce for 3 minutes on low heat.
  7. Add the smoked mackerel chunks.
  8. Let it simmer for 2 minutes. 
  9. Finally, serve the smoked mackerel stew with your favorite side dishes! 

Doesn’t it smell and taste absolutely divine? Smoked Mackerel Stew will surely make you fall in love with African cuisine! 


How to Smoke Mackerel

Did you know that you can make quality smoked mackerel at home? Be sure to read my blog post on how to smoke mackerel without a smoker perfectly. It is also one of the best ways to store mackerel for soups and stews. In fact, you can pair it with other sauces for an enriched flavor! 

Buy fresh mackerel and store it in the fridge or freezer properly. You can easily smoke fish in the oven, which only takes about 30 minutes to cook! 

  1. Gut and clean the mackerel. 
  2. Fold the mackerel until its mouth reaches the tail. 
  3. Then, secure it with a toothpick.
  4. On each side, smoke it in a preheated oven at 200°C for 15 minutes.
  5. Use it for this stew by deboning and breaking it into chunks.

You can also make smoked mackerel in the air fryer or frying pan! 

Peppers, tomatoes, and scotch bonnet

Selection. Buy peppers, tomatoes, and scotch bonnet with smooth and clear skin. The stems should be attached. They should also feel heavy for their size. 

Storage. You can keep them at room temperature for several days. However, store them in the fridge to extend their shelf life. They can also be frozen to make them last longer.

Mixed herbs

Mixed herbs are multi-purpose seasoning for almost any dish. It combines basil, oregano, parsley, marjoram, tarragon, sage, and thyme. Use a spice grinder to get the best texture.

No-Blender Pepper Sauce

If you don’t have a blender, then use a food processor or miller to pulse the ingredients. Otherwise, use a knife or grater to get similar results.

Smoked Mackerel Stew Variations

The best thing about cooking Smoked Mackerel Stew is that you can season it according to your desired flavor. It can be sweeter, spicier, or savory to make the meal more enjoyable! 

The smoked mackerel can also be seasoned with salt, pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, and more! Moreover, the stew can be flavored with herbs and spices available to you.

  • Frying pan: Cook the Smoked Mackerel Stew in a frying pan.
  • Blender: Prepare the pepper sauce in a blender.
  • Wooden spatula: Stir the stew with a wooden spatula.
  • Knife: Chop the ingredients using a knife.

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How to Serve Smoked Mackerel Stew

smoked mackerel sauce serving options

Smoked Mackerel Stew is an all-around dish you can pair with many recipes. Indeed, you will never run out of ways to serve it! Furthermore, check out these excellent side dishes for the stew:

Serve the complete meal by preparing the following drinks:

Storage Tips

  • At room temperature: Eat the Smoked Mackerel Stew within several hours at room temperature.

make ahead

  • In the fridge: Store the stew in an airtight container. Then, refrigerate for three days.
  • To freeze: I suggest separately freezing the smoked mackerel and pepper sauce for a few weeks or months. Otherwise, keep the stew in the freezer for about a month.
Nigerian smoked mackerel sauce

Frequently Asked Questions

Is smoked mackerel healthy?

If you’re looking for a delicious and nutritious fish dish, smoked mackerel is an excellent choice. Rich in proteins, healthy fats – Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, it has been found to reduce cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease, making it an incredibly healthy option.

How do you eat smoked mackerel?

Incredibly flavorful and easy to prepare, smoked mackerel can be enjoyed with breakfast, lunch, dinner, sides, or snacks – your imagination only limits the possibilities! Smoked mackerel recipes: fish rolls, smoked mackerel salads, smoked mackerel pate, smoked mackerel rice, smoked mackerel stew, smoked mackerel sauce, smoked mackerel soup, egusi soup, efo riro, efo elegusi, ikokore, yam porridge, concoction rice, fried eggs, egg rolls, and more.

Do you eat smoked mackerel cold or hot?

Depending on the recipe you’re making with the smoked mackerel, you can eat it cold or at room temperature in no-cook recipes like salads. You can also eat it warm or hot in recipes such as rice, stews, or vegetables.

How often should you eat smoked mackerel?

We should all eat at least two servings of fish weekly, including one with oils like mackerel. But most of us don’t eat enough. A serving is about 140 grams or 4.9 oz.

How do you make ready-to-eat smoked mackerel?

Smoke the seasoned fish in the oven for 30 minutes. Once done, store the smoked mackerel in the fridge or freeze it. Thaw them whenever you need them for stews or other recipes.

Should you eat the skin on smoked mackerel?

Yes, you can eat the skin on the smoked mackerel as long as the scales have been rinsed properly. Otherwise, skin the smoked mackerel before adding it to the pepper sauce.

smoked mackerel sauce

Smoked Mackerel Stew

5 from 1 vote
This simple but delicious recipe will become your favorite smoked mackerel and pepper sauce in one fabulous dish!
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 10
Course Stew
Cuisine Nigerian
Calories 456kcal


For the pepper sauce

  • 5 tomatoes
  • 3 sweet peppers
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 scotch bonnet
  • 2 garlic cloves

For the stew


Prepare the pepper sauce and smoked mackerel

  • Rinse the vegetables. Slice them using a knife.
  • Pulse the tomatoes, sweet peppers, bell peppers, scotch bonnet, red onion, and garlic in a blender until roughly chopped.
  • Debone and break the smoked mackerel into chunks.

Cook the smoked mackerel stew

  • Heat corn oil in a frying pan over medium fire.
  • Fry the white onion for a minute.
  • Stir in the pepper sauce and cook until the sauce thickens.
  • Season the sauce with curry powder, mixed herbs, smoked paprika, sea salt, and knorr stock cubes.
  • Mix the stew with a wooden spatula.
  • Fry the sauce for 3 minutes on low heat.
  • Add the smoked mackerel chunks.
  • Let it simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Serve the smoked mackerel stew with your favorite side dishes!



  • Make smoked mackerel at home by cooking it in the oven, air fryer, or frying pan. 
  • Use a food processor or miller instead of a blender.
  • Cook the sauce in oil with a high smoke point to prevent burning.


Serving: 1 (of 10)Calories: 456kcalCarbohydrates: 10gProtein: 29gFat: 34gSaturated Fat: 5gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 64mgSodium: 315mgPotassium: 899mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 2947IUVitamin C: 106mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 2mg
Keyword authentic smoked mackerel stew, easy smoked mackerel stew, homemade smoked mackerel stew, nigerian smoked mackerel stew, quick smoked mackerel stew

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