Native to waters near Italy, France and Spain, red mullet is popular in Mediterranean cooking. This fish has beautiful red skin and firm, flavoursome flesh but it is also very small and, as a result, it can easily dry out during cooking. You can avoid this problem by cooking red mullet sous vide. In this method, the fish is cooked at a low temperature in a sealed vacuum bag to prevent overcooking.
- Preheat the water bath to a temperature of 52⁰C.
- Fillet the red mullet, then rinse the meat in cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper.
- Sprinkle a pinch of salt over each fillet.
- Seal the seasoned fillets inside a vacuum bag with a dash of oil.
- Place the vacuum bag in the water bath and leave to cook for 30 minutes.
- Carefully take the fish out of the bag and dry on kitchen paper.
- Lay the fillets skin-side down in a hot frying pan and sear over a medium heat until the skin is crispy.
You can enhance the flavour of the red mullet by adding different ingredients to the vacuum bag. Fragrant herbs such as basil and tarragon would work well or, for a fresher taste, try adding a slice of orange or lemon peel.
With its colourful skin and delicate flavour, red mullet is a great choice for an easy summer main: try Adam Gray’s simple Red mullet with baby spinach salad and crushed Caesar new potatoes or Bryan Webb’s Mediterranean-inspired Red mullet with chilli and garlic oil. If you fancy something a little more challenging, Daniel Clifford’s stunning Stuffed red mullet with a Parmesan purée, caramelised artichokes and green olive powder is well worth the effort.
Recipe courtesy of www.greatbritishchefs.com