Red Mullet (Fish) Recipe

Wikipedia’s photos of a striped red mullet
We ate lunch at our favourite restaurant in Monte Gordo (see post ) and the head waiter asked us if we wanted to try his favourite fish, “Salmoneta”. Speaking no Portuguese myself, I deduced that this must be a small salmon (needless to say, it isn’t) and said “Yes!” ‘cos I love salmon…

However, I’m not complaining because it was very tasty indeed. It has a completely different flavour to salmon and any other fish I’ve tried and we really enjoyed it. The Husband guessed that it must be Red Mullet (thank you Sherlock) and after consulting Google Translate I discovered that he was right.

Further research revealed that it’s not related to the grey mullet at all, so why on earth is it called a mullet then?! It is apparently a Goat Fish…well that’s even more ridiculous if you ask me! A goat fish for goodness sake. Who comes up with these names?!

HOW TO COOK this I’m-not-a-mullet-I’m-a-goat

In the restaurant, they merely
gutted it,
cleaned it inside and out,
slashed it a few times,
popped it onto the grill for a few minutes,
removed it and slathered it in garlic olive oil,
and placed it on my plate with a big handful of chips.
It’s that easy!
They left the back and side fins on which gives you a bit more work as The Eater, but was no problem. I also ate the skin which I thought was very tasty.

But for those of you who would prefer more detailed instructions, I found this recipe in “The River Café Cookbook” by Rose Grey and Ruth Rogers. This is their recipe:

Grilled Red Mullet
Serves 6
6x300-350g (10-12oz) red mullet
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Prepare the red mullet by snipping off the back and side fins with a pair of strong scissors. Then remove the scales by wiping them off with your hands under fast running water. When all the scales have been removed, stick a sharp knife into the base of the belly and then slit upwards towards the head. Under cold running water, remove the guts and any congealed blood along the spine, carefully retaining the livers. (FROM ME: I’m not sure why but this is their recipe not mine!) Give the fish a final rinse and dry thoroughly. Season.
Place the mullet on a hot grill and grill 4-5 minutes on each side or until cooked.
(They serve it with Anchovy and Rosemary Sauce or Salsa Verde.)

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