Hoe cakes with smoked mackerel

Hoe cakes with smoked mackerel

““Hoe cakes’ have no relation to ladies of the night (too bad?), but are a traditional dish from the American deep south.”

“Hoe cakes’ have no relation to ladies of the night (too bad?), but are a traditional dish from the American deep south. In English kitchens around the year 1600, these unrisen pancakes were made on griddles, baking sheets also called hoes. No tradition is sacred to Smokey, so stir in some bacon grease and crumble and top the cakes with home smoked mackerel, enjoy y’all!

The ingredients:

(4 serves) 

Smoked mackerel:

  • 1⅓ (5l) gallons water
  • 14 oz (400g) salt
  • 4 fresh and cleaned mackerel

Hoe cakes:

  • 140g self rising flour
  • 120g cornflour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp cane sugar
  • 220ml buttermilk
  • 90ml water
  • 60ml oil
  • 35g bacon crumble
  • 15g bacon grease
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 100ml crème fraîche caviar (optional)


  • BBQ with cast iron grill grate for indirect grilling
  • 2 handfuls of oak or beech wood chips for smoking
  • Core thermometer
  • Cast iron skillet or baking sheet

How to make:

Duration: 3½ hours prep

Cooking about: about 1 hour


Boil half a gallon of water and dissolve the salt. Add the rest of the cold water, optionally replacing a part with ice cubes to get a cold brine going quicker. Allow to cool completely before submerging your mackerel in the brine. Refrigerate for 90 minutes. Rinse the fish with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the fish on a grate or hang them by the head and allow to dry in a cool place for 2 hours.


Prepare a BBQ for indirect grilling and heat to 80 °C (176 °F). Lower is fine, if you want to spend more time smoking the fish for a stronger smoke flavour. Spread the wood chips over the hot coals, place your mackerel on the grill grate and smoke for about 1 hour. They should be cooked when the eyes turn orange, but check if the core temperature has reached 65 °C (149°F).

Hoe cakes with smoked mackerel

Mix the mirin fu with the tabasco, use a vegetable peeler to cut the cucumber into thin ribbons. Place the cucumber in the mixture and set aside. Season the crème fraîche with salt and pepper, and set aside.


To make the hoe cakes, mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl until a batter forms. Heat a dash of oil in a skillet on low heat. When the oil is hot, ladle a large helping of batter on the pan and cook for a few minutes, until the bottom edge starts to brown. Flip and cook for a few minutes more. Repeat until all the batter has been used.


Take the mackerel off the BBQ, carefully remove the skin and pull the flesh of the bone. Remove any remaining fishbones. Spread a good dollop of crème fraîche on each hoe cake, drape with a cucumber ribbon and layer on a mackerel. Finish with caviar. Serve and watch the plate empty lickety-split.


enjoy your Hoe cakes!

Items used for this recipe

Pinch me pinchers
Petromax Gietijzer skillet met handvaten
Petromax Cast Iron Skillet
Smokey Goodness BBQ feast on fire
Smokey Goodness BBQ Feast on Fire
Leather hero apron
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