I’m in the midst of a large house painting project and in need of a small amount of temporary escapism. Today I need some mental stimulation. So, of course, I turn to talking about food. I’ve been wanting to report back on this one for a couple of weeks. It’s really simple but highly tasty. Plus, it can be whipped up in fifteen minutes, making a quick yet scrummy mid week meal.

It’s another recipe picked from Rick Stein’s wonderful ‘From Venice to Istanbul’. This time from the street food section. We have recreated a fair few dishes from the book now and they have yet to disappoint. I urge anyone who likes food from the Eastern Med to invest in a copy. This particular sandwich is great for the health conscious and contains the new favourite ingredient ‘sumac’, that brings a lovey savouriness with it. 

To make our version of this mackerel baguette (serves two generously) you will need:

– Four seasoned mackerel fillets (should be boneless but you might want to inspect yourself for rogue bones if you’re anything like me)

– Olive oil (for frying)

– Half to 3/4 of an onion (peeled/halved/thinly sliced)

– One teaspoon of sumac

– Quarter of a teaspoon of salt

– A large handful of lettuce (we used a round lettuce which I prefer)

– Two tomatoes (sliced)

– Half a lemon

– Two small/medium baguettes

– Half a teaspoon of chilli flakes


– Heat some oil to a medium heat in a frying pan and fry the mackerel fillets for a few minutes on each side.

– Meanwhile, put the onion into a bowl and mix with the salt and sumac. 

– Slice the baguettes through the middle and arrange the tomato along the bread. Top with two fillets on each baguette. 

– Squeeze the lemon over each one and finish with a layer of lettuce, then the onion and finally the chilli flakes. 

– Make into a sandwich and eat straight away. 

As you bite into the baguette it’s like diving into a sea of goodness! There are no creamy dressings in sight, just fishy, citrusy deliciousness! As I mentioned previously, the sumac gives a savouriness that compliments both the lemon and the oiliness of the mackerel perfectly. Street food at its finest.