Simple smoked mackerel canapés

Updated: March 2016

In this post I have given two recipes: one for my version of smoked mackerel pâté and one for gooseberry chutney.

Crunchy, with a rich smoked flavour and a sharp tang, this is my simple canapé version of a wonderful mackerel starter I had in a restaurant some time ago. As the pâté and the chutney can be made in advance, these canapés take minutes to assemble and will remain crunchy for a couple of hours.

I prefer to top these with smoked mussels, but capers work brilliantly. Sourdough is my bread of choice here but any good quality bread will do well.

The sharpness of the gooseberry chutney cuts through the richness and oilyness of the mackerel beautifully. But an apple chutney, or even thin slices of cooking apple poached until soft in a little water, will work well. My recipe for gooseberry chutney is given at the bottom of the post: it makes far more than you need for these canapés.

The pâté can be made up in moments and it has a great depth of flavour. It is excellent served on buttered toast or as part of a light platter.

On smoked mussels:

Smoked mussels have a tremendous depth of flavour, but you need to avoid the tinned ones as they have little flavour and carry barely any smokey taste. You can buy stunning smoked mussels online: I tend to use Loch Fyne and Inverawe Smokehouses.

The mussels come in a oil that becomes wonderfully smokey: a few tablespoon of the oil mixed into a fish pâté is a nice touch but it is great added to salad dressings, drizzled on a piece of fish or over a fishy soup etc. And a spoonful mixed into scrambled eggs as they cook elevates the dish to new heights.

Smoked mackerel canapés

Smoked mackerel pâté:

  • 300g smoked mackerel (skinned and boned)
  • a tablespoon or two at most of crème fraîche, mayonnaise or cream cheese
  • a heaped teaspoon of capers, chopped
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped gherkins or pickled cucumbers or similar
  • 2 heaped teaspoons horseradish sauce (or a few shavings of freshly grated horseradish)
  • a couple of tablespoons of chopped fresh chives
  • juice of half a lemon
  • freshly milled black pepper
  • chopped capers for garnishing


  • several slices of sourdough bread, sliced thinly
  • smoked mackerel pâté
  • smoked mussels, halved lengthways, or capers
  • freshly milled pepper
  • fresh chives, snipped

(1) Make the pâté: mix all ingredients together with a fork until combined well, trying to keep some chunks of mackerel. Top with a few chopped capers and a grinding of black pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Cover and chill until ready to use.

(2) Cut each slice of bread into fairly uniform sizes and place on a baking tray (any misshapen ones are definitely for tasters!). You can take the crusts off if preferred

(3) Bake the bread at 120°C(fan) for about 30 minutes until very lightly browned and crispy. Leave to cool.

(4) Add a small amount of gooseberry chutney to each piece of bread, then top this with about a teaspoon of smoked mackerel pâté.

(5) Put one half of a smoked mussel on each canapé, cut side down. Alternatively, top each canapé with a few capers.

(6) Refrigerate until needed, but eat within a few hours or the bread will go soft. Serve with a grinding of black pepper and some chopped chives.

Recipe: gooseberry chutney (makes 2-3 jars):

  • approx. 500g gooseberries (red or green), topped and tailed- you can use frozen or fresh gooseberries
  • 300g granulated sugar
  • 1 large onion, chopped finely or blitzed in a food processor
  • 100ml cider vinegar
  • 1 rounded teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt

(1) Add all ingredients to a large pan and slowly bring to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

(2) Once boiled, turn the heat down and keep at a gentle simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture becomes thicker, pulpy and the texture you prefer.

(3) Put into sterilised jars and seal. The chutney can be used immediately or stored for up to a year.

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

Something Sweet Something Savoury

Family friendly recipes from a chaotic kitchen

Indian Curry Shack By Anugya

A Recipe Repertoire For Everyday Cooking


Good food, without fuss

Julie's Family Kitchen

A home for cooking and baking recipes

God's Little Acre Farm Blog

Sharing the little things in life, one blog at a time!

Food without fuss

Simple food, big on flavour!

The Recipe Hunter

Cook and Enjoy

My Baking Adventure

Going on an adventure or baking a new dessert - they both bring you joy and fill you with happiness

Splash of Happiness

Splashing happiness in your day

the chef mimi blog

So Much Food. So Little Time.

It's All Frosting...

Projects, recipes, and other things that make life fun!

Come dine with Teo

Because eating is a necessity, but savouring is a pleasure.

joannas sydney

An insider's guide to Sydney, Australia


food books (?) pretentious writing etc

biscuits and pieces

Food, lifestyle and everything in between

Journey of a Blogvelist

The Writing of Curtis Bausse

Stefan's Gourmet Blog

Cooking, food, wine


el blog de dulceidea

This is not a pie

Young baker from Brighton presents her recipes

Bakers and Best

Baking the Michigan Difference into every loaf.

Charlotte's Web of Bakes

The outcomes of an experimental (albeit amateur) baking enthusiast!


All about the passion for food

Cooking without Limits

Food Photography & Recipes

Eat The Roses

Highly Opinionated Thoughts About Food, The Universe and Everything

I Dream in Buttercream

Cloud9.1's Baking Blog

Le Céleste Pâtisserie

Professional Chef Recipes and knowledge source for patisserie, baking and pastry


baking adventures on both sides of 'the pond'

Knead to Dough

the go-to site for your foodie blog and biz resources

Love Grace and Cakes

Sitting here in a pile of flour and icing sugar, drinking wine

Wuthering Bites

Simple Gluten Free recipes for any time of day.

The Baking Hermit

Hobby baker who enjoys learning about the science and techniques behind making the perfect baked goods that taste and look good.

Blissfully Scrumptious

Blissfully scrumptious recipes for cakes and bakes


Baking from the heart...with a pinch of guilt-free indulgence!

Natascha's Palace

A blog about culinary adventures from a Canadian living in Spain


Cook. Bake. Eat.

lili's cakes

Pâtisserie Sans Frontières

Addicted to the Sweet Life

Two uni students exploring Melbourne's food destinations


share the loaves


good food with simple ingredients

food for fun

enjoying what's on my plate

Clandestine Cake Club

Bake, Eat, Talk about Cake

Every Nook & Cranny simply filled with food

Preheat the Oven

with Chef Jae

%d bloggers like this: