Cuisine Fiend

grilled red mullet

Tue, 5 April, 2016


red mullet

What a lovely little fish, red mullet, or rouget as per its French name which I’m fond of, as it sounds nothing like the hideous haircut. It is not frequently that the smaller the fish the better it tastes, bones becoming too much of a key player usually, but it’s completely the case with red mullet.

grilled red mullet

The best in my experience you get in France. On the south-west Atlantic coast, which must be one of my favourite places on Earth, they sell it in the fish markets and serve it in the bistros so fresh it’s still frowning at you from the plate. It may be filleted and that’s easier than it sounds – mullet is a very flaky fish even raw – and then best served as a starter. It can be grilled whole, like here, and I expect baked and fried too, versatile little numbers that they are.

grilled rouget

grilled red mullet

Servings: serve 2-3 fish per personTime: 10 minutes


  • 2-3 small red mullets per person, cleaned, gutted and scaled, heads on
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 anchovy fillet
  • 1 tbsp. finely chopped coriander

fresh red mullet


1. Melt the butter in a small pan, add the anchovy fillet and mash it with a fork until it dissolves. Add the chopped coriander and keep warm.

anchovy butter

2. Heat the grill to medium. Brush the mullets generously with the seasoned butter all over, place them under the grill on a rack and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on their size.

red mullet under grill

3. Brush with the butter again before and after turning them over. Serve immediately.

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