Smoked Mackerel and Beetroot Salad – IDDSI Level 5

This is a great dish at this time of year as it is full of flavour and earthy while introducing a lighter elements that suit the warming weather. The perfect marriage of meaty, smoked mackerel, the sweetness of beetroot and the zingy creaminess of the dressing. Try this easy dysphagia smoked mackerel and beetroot salad as a light lunch or sandwich filling.

Accompaniments – Try this out with a suitable IDDSI Level 5 Potato Salad and Tomato and Fennel Compote.

Reform Processes: Exclude, Tenderise, Resize and Texturise.



150g Smoked Mackerel

150g Beetroot

300ml Sour Cream

Juice of 1/2 a Lemon

30g Smooth Horseradish Sauce

Food Thickener (as required)

Milk (as required)


Reform Processes


Smoked Mackerel

  1. Exclude the skin
  2. Exclude any bones
  3. Exclude any firm, dry parts of the fillet (check the tip at the tail end)
  4. Resize the mackerel to pieces no larger than 4mm x 4mm x 15mm


  1. Exclude the Skin
  2. Exclude any firm stem or root sections
  3. Resize the beetroot to pieces no larger than 4mm x 4mm x 15mm
  4. Tenderise the beetroot so the pieces pass the IDDSI Pressure Test

Sour Cream/Horseradish Sauce/Lemon Juice

  1. Texturise so that the sauce binds the pieces of beetroot and mackerel together without separation
  2. If it requires thickening add sufficient food thickener
  3. If it requires thinning down use the right amount of milk



  1. Tenderise the beetroot by boiling in a pan of seasoned water. Cook until tender enough to pass the IDDSI Pressure Test.
  2. When the beetroot has cooled, exclude the skins using a small knife and resize into pieces no larger than 4mm x 4mm x 15mm.
  3. Exclude any bones from the mackerel using tweezers, or by cutting the section out of the fillet with a sharp knife. Exclude any firm parts with the knife at this point.
  4. The mackerel skin can be excluded by peeling it away with your fingers.
  5. Resize the mackerel into pieces no larger than 4mm x 4mm x 15mm by chopping with a good sized, sharp knife.
  6. In a bowl, mix the sour cream, horseradish and lemon juice together and fold in the pieces of beetroot and mackerel
  7. At this point check to see if the sauce separates from the pieces of food and that it has not become too thick.
  8. Texturise the mixture if required, adding food thickener if the mixture separates or some milk if it is too thick.
  9. Season to taste.

IDDSI Audit – Use appropriate IDDSI Audit Sheet

IDDSI Testing Methods for the beetroot and mackerel pate:

Size – 4mm x 4mm x 15mm
IDDSI Pressure Test
IDDSI Spoon Tilt Test
No separation of the sauce from the food pieces

Quality Audit: 5/5

Nutrition – 1/1
Flavour – 1/1
Colour – 1/1
Smell – 1/1
Composition – 1/1


Audit and serve the food at chilled temperature.