sweet chilli mackerel & lime couscous

Lindsey Bareham

The smoky flavour of cumin infuses through quickly fried fillets of mackerel draped over couscous laced with little Chantenay carrots, green beans and coriander. A dribble of Thai sweet chilli sauce points up the flavours without blowing your head off.

serves 2, prep 20 min, cook 15 min

100g couscous
100g Chantenay carrots
100g green beans
4 small mackerel fillets
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp Thai sweet chilli sauce
1 dsp groundnut oil
1 dsp lime juice
25g coriander
1 lime

Trim the carrots and scrub. Top and tail the beans and snap in half. Cook the carrots in 500ml salted boiling water for 4 min. Scoop into a colander. Boil the beans in the water for 2 min. Scoop them over the carrots and cover to keep warm. Measure 150ml cooking water into a bowl with half the chilli sauce, the groundnut oil and lime juice. Stir in the couscous. Leave to hydrate. Set aside a few sprigs of coriander and chop the rest.

Cut out the ridge of little bones that runs down the middle length of the mackerel fillets and trim any bones at the edges to create two long, slim fish fingers. Pat dry with kitchen paper and dust the flesh-side with cumin. Heat the vegetable oil and quickly fry the mackerel in two batches, for a couple of minutes a side until firm, cooked through and slightly shriveled. Transfer to a fold of kitchen paper while you cook the rest. Fork up the couscous, fold in the coriander, carrots and beans. Tip onto a platter, drape over the mackerel and garnish with the reserved chilli sauce, sprigs of coriander and lime wedges.