Canned Mackerel Is The Tastier Version Of Tuna You Should Consider

If tuna is your go-to canned resource, let us introduce you to its more flavorful, sustainable cousin: canned mackerel. A classic member of the group of canned seafood known as conservas in Portugal and Spain, mackerel is a fattier fish than tuna but with a more mild flavor than that of sardines. Basically, it's the best of both worlds regarding tinned fish. 

As long as there has been tinned fish, there has been tinned mackerel, with varietals of the conservas coming with olive oil, tomato sauce, spices, lemon, or plain Jane water. In addition to the different ingredients that mackerel can be packed with, customers can choose filleted, whole, skin-on, or skin-off variations of the fish. The most common version of canned mackerel is skin-off and filleted, meaning no bones. 

No matter what version you choose, you'll note that mackerel offers much larger size fillets than sardines and flakes easily like tuna. Though it's fattier than other fish, these are the nutritious fats, like omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for your heart. Plus, this fat helps give it a better texture and taste than your basic can of tuna. So how can you get the most out of this canned fish?

Making mackerel a perfect meal

As it shares many similarities with tuna, rest assured that anything you do with tuna, you can also do with mackerel. With that in mind, why don't you ramp up your favorite tuna salad recipe and swap in some mackerel? Tuna melt or tuna casserole amended with mackerel is also fair game. 

Beyond that, mackerel can add a boost of protein and flavor to a number of recipes, including pasta dishes. For a pasta base, start with a briny recipe that already incorporates seafood, like puttanesca. Other creative options for mackerel include mackerel patties, mackerel nachos, or even a canned mackerel take on sushi. 

If you'd like to try a more traditional approach to canned mackerel, you can transform it into a Japanese-style mackerel and rice dish. Canned mackerel is very popular in Japan, and they often pair the protein with a seasoned bowl of rice and vegetables, simmering them all together to marry the many flavors.

Finding canned mackerel at the store is pretty straightforward, and it's available nationwide. As for brands to invest in, Patagonia Provisions offers many flavors and variations, and Wild Planet Foods is also a good bet. As soon as you have a taste of this nutrient-rich and flavorful canned fish, you'll never feel the need to get tuna again.