Trader Joe’s Boneless Skinless Mackerel in Sunflower Oil

7EE23C43-1B6E-4F14-8B85-B982DC1FA37BOmega-3 is good for you. That’s what “everybody” says. And by everybody, I mean doctors and other health professionals.  But if you’re like me, you enjoy fish but are too damn lazy to cook it most days of the week. So it’s yet another packet of instant ramen. Again. But as usual, Trader Joe’s came up with a way to get your healthy on, with tinned Boneless Skinless Mackerel.  And you don’t even have to keep ’em in the fridge!

After cracking open the tin – and shooing away your cats – there are two large filets swimming in clear oil. There’s a smokey aroma that rises from the tin, and I almost drained the contents and dumped the entire tin into my mouth. Hey save that oil! Why? It’s delicious tossed with pasta. Waste not, want not, especially if you want yummy pasta.  And who doesn’t?  (BTW, this oil is good for all pasta, from “regular” to spaghetti squash, zoodles, or gluten free. Mmm, pasta e olio…di semi di girasole!  (I hope that’s how it’s really said in Italian.)

While the ingredients only list mackerel, oil and salt, there’s a nice smoky flavor throughout that makes good on the promise of that first whiff. The pieces are solid, but flake easily with a solid prod with a fork. Or if you’re super lazy (complete with cape), just pop a whole filet into a hot-dog bun.  Go for a Hawaiian sweet bun, and then add a bit of whatever greens float your boat.  These Mackerel filets are substantial – and large – enough that one won’t get lost in bun-ness. Or double up and unhinge your jaw.  What? Just me?

Great for a hearty quick meal; I diced one filet into leftover plain quinoa, and had the other over mixed greens with dried cranberries and a light vinaigrette. But if you’re ready for real recipes, this site has wonderful ideas that had me adding a few more of these Mackerel tins to my shopping basket.  And you know what?  If you’re a meat eater – or just living the  pescatarian life – you should give these a try.

Hey, mackerel is one of the top Omega-3 oil fishes, right up there with salmon and herring. (Mmm, salmon and herring.) You can have these easy-peasy Mackerel filets and be all Omega-pompous with your friends. So get your fish on!

Denise Kitashima Dutton

Denise Kitashima Dutton has been a reviewer since 2003, and hopes to get the hang of things any moment now. She believes that bluegrass is not hell in music form, and that beer is better when it's a nitro pour. Besides GMR, you can find her at Atomic Fangirl,, or at that end seat at the bar, multi-tasking with her Kindle.

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