Cooking with kids – Mackerel Goujons (sustainable fish)

This is a nice easy fish recipe that you can involve young children with. It’s also made with Mackerel which is considered one of the more sustainably caught fish. For the reasons that this is so important see The End of the Line – the problem of overfishing (also see Buying and cooking fresh and frozen sustainable fish from UK supermarkets).

I made these with lots of help from my three year old son and five year old daughter.

Mackerel Goujons - cooking with kids


Note that I didn’t actually measure out most ingredients so these are all approximate.

  • 4 fresh mackerel fillets (or two whole fish)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tablespoon of milk
  • 1 tablespoon of plain flour
  • 4 slices of bread (or breadcrumbs)
  • salt & pepper

Turn on the oven

Pre-heat the oven to 220°C.
The mackerel only takes about 15 minutes to cook so if serving with potatoes you may want to consider putting them on to cook a few minutes before the mackerel is put in the oven.

Prepare the fish

Whole mackerel is fairly simple to prepare, or can be bought already prepared as fillets. You may however want to fillet the mackerel before getting help from the kids as a sharp knife is required. The mackeral should then be cut into strips.

Batter mix

Put the eggs into a bowl and whisk with a fork. Mix in the milk, flour and seasoning. The batter needs to be quite runny, but thick enough to stick to the fish. Add more milk or flour to make the batter more thinner or thicker as appropriate.


To make the breadcrumbs first put the bread into the toaster for a short period of time. Remove when the bread is dry, but before it starts changing colour. Put the bread into a food processor or blender until it becomes breadcrumbs.

The messy bit

This is the bit that the kids love. Take the pieces of mackerel and dunk into the batter until well covered. Then roll the battered fish in the breadcrumbs and put on a wire rack above an oven tray. If you don’t have an oven tray with a wire rack you can use a normal baking tray, but oil the tray well first to stop the goujons from sticking (and watch out for hot fat when removing from the oven).


Cook in the centre of the oven for about 15 minutes.


Serve immediately with new potatoes, chips or mash and your favourite veg.
The goujons go well with a variety of table sauces. My favourite is horseradish, but my kids prefer tartare sauce or tomato ketchup (of course).