Mullet fish is one of the most commercially harvested fish and is a great choice of seafood among a variety of cuisines. Here are some delicious recipes on how to cook this fish.
There are two types of mullet fish―striped mullet and silver mullet. They swim in large schools and keep jumping out of the water; hence they are also known as jumping mullet. This trait of theirs makes fishing for them easier. These fishes have a firm texture, and a moderate flavor. It makes for lean meat and thus, can also be eaten by those on a diet, either grilled or steamed. Before we take a look at some of the delicious recipes, here are some tips on how to buy, cook, and preserve mullet fish:
- If you buy a whole fish, ensure that its skin is shiny, and that it does not carry any slime.
- Its belly cavity should be clean, unless you plan to clean it yourself. There shouldn’t be any cuts on the fish, except for the one made to remove the guts.
- If you buy steaks, ensure that the flesh is translucent, firm, and not discolored. It should smell mildly of the ocean.
- If you are preparing a marinade for the fish, and require some to be used later for basting, keep aside the necessary portion.
- This fish cooks quickly, so do not allow it to overcook.
Crispy Mullet Fish Salad (Serves 6)
- Florida Mullet fillets, 2 pounds
- White vinegar, ½ cup
- Tarragon leaves, 1 teaspoon
- All-purpose flour, 1 cup
- Yellow cornmeal, ½ cup
- Lime juice, ¼ cup
- Salt, 1 teaspoon
- Pepper, ¼ teaspoon
- Paprika, 2 teaspoons
- Black radish, 6
- Lettuce bundles, 6
- Beefsteak tomatoes, 3
- Garlic cloves, 2 (chopped)
- Baby fennel bulbs, 12
- Pink radishes, 12
- Bay leaf
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chicken stock, 4 cups
- Olive oil, for frying salad vegetables
- Cut the fillets in strips of 4-5 inches.
- In a flat dish, mix together the vinegar, lime juice, and tarragon leaves.
- Put the fish strips in this mixture, and allow them to marinade for about 30 minutes. Cover the dish with a lid.
- In a large bowl, mix together the cornmeal, paprika, salt, pepper, and flour.
- Dredge the fish strips in this dry mixture after removing them from the marinade.
- Heat the olive oil and deep-fry the fish in it until they are golden brown. Drain the excess oil from the fish using a paper towel.
- Peel the tomatoes, remove the seeds, and cut them into quarters.
- In a saucepan, heat the olive oil, and add the garlic, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper to it.
- Add the chicken stock to the pan and allow it to simmer until it attains the consistency of a sauce.
- Remove the pan from the heat, and allow it to cool until it reaches the room temperature.
- Slice the fennel, and soak it in ice water along with the radishes.
- Line each dish with lettuce, and sprinkle lemon juice on them.
- Cut the black radish, and line only one side of the dish with it.
- Place the fish strips on each plate. Garnish it with fennel, and top it with the previously prepared sauce.
Smoked Mullet Fish (Serves 6)
- Split mullet, 5 pounds
- Water, 1 gallon
- Kosher salt, ¾-1 cup
- Brown sugar, 1 cup
- Onion powder, 1 tablespoon
- Fresh parsley
- Hot sauce (optional)
- Lemon wedges (optional)
- Roasting pan
- Wire rack
- Wood chips
- Rinse the fish clean. In a bowl, combine the water, salt, sugar, and onion powder. Soak the fish in this solution for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. If you wish the fish to be saltier, soak it for a longer time.
- Remove the fish from this solution, and lightly rinse it with plain water. Discard the solution.
- Place the fish on the roasting pan with the wire rack. Cover it with paper towels, and allow it to rest for about 2-3 hours, or until it has completely dried.
- Place the charcoal in the smoker, and heat it up for about 20 minutes. Simultaneously, place the wood chips in water for the same amount of time.
- Remove them from the water, and put them in the smoker along with the charcoal. Take the pan with the wire rack and place it on the smoker.
- Fill the necessary amount of water as indicated by the fill line on the pan.
- Place the fish on the rack, and cover it with a lid.
- Allow it to cook for at least 2 hours or until it starts flaking easily.
- Garnish it with the parsley, followed by the lemon wedges and hot sauce, if desired.
Grilled, Stuffed Whole Red Mullet Fish (Serves 4)
- Whole red mullets, 4 (about ½ pound each)
- Onion, 1 (medium-sized)
- Tomato, ½ (de-seeded; finely chopped)
- Parsley (finely chopped)
- Olive oil, 2 tablespoons
- Liver of the mullet (finely chopped)
- Lemons, 2 (juiced)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Gut the fish by making a cut through the belly, right up to the bone. Remember to place the liver aside.
- Mix together the finely chopped liver, onion, tomato, and parsley in a large bowl, and add the salt, pepper, and olive oil to the mixture.
- Slit the fish all along, and stuff the entire fish with the above-mentioned mixture. Use a strong thread to sew the cavity, so that the stuffing doesn’t leak out.
- Season the fish with salt, and allow it to rest for about 45 minutes.
- On a heated grill, place the stuffed fish, brushed with olive oil. Let it cook until it starts flaking easily.
- For the dressing, blend together the lemon juice, olive oil, parsley, and a little water.
- Once the mullet is ready, dip it in the dressing, and place it on a dish. Pour the remaining dressing over the fish.
This fish can be substituted with mahi-mahi, mackerel, and pompano. Treat yourself with the delicious flavors of mullet fish, and savor these recipes with your friends and family.