On my quest to eat more fish and seafood, I walked through the fish aisle with my wife the other day. We had a look at what was available and stumbled over Senegalese red mullet. We both never had the chance to try it and bought some to give it a try. After some research and inspiration, I created a red mullet salad with a spicy basil sauce and a cashew omelette.
I had never spotted red mullet in a shop. So far I only had the chance to see it on TV shows. That’s why I was instantly intrigued and wanted to buy it. That being said, I had no idea how it tasted or what do to with it. (Luckily, my wife knew it from Morrocan fish markets.)
Luckily red mullet is an easy-going type of fish. It can be found in the Mediterranean Sea, the North Atlantic Ocean and the Black Sea. On an impressive note: red mullets can be found in shallow water (only 5 metres of depth) and as deep as 400 metres. By accident, I bought some during the best times to buy: August and October. The fish should be avoided during their spawning season. That’s happening from May to July.
The red mullet is a very lean fish, with less than 4% fat in 100 g of meat. It has around 20% of protein in the same amount of fish and is surprisingly rich in different vitamins and minerals. The texture is firm but slightly soft and the fish works well with strong flavours: chillies, ginger and garlic. Besides that red mullet has a hint of shellfish and goes well with everything that tastes great with shellfish, too. It gets this taste most likely because they enjoy feasting on shellfish in their spare time.
I breaded the red mullet in panko and fried it lightly in olive oil. That was a delicious idea but not my initial plan. At the beginning, I wanted to bread it in cashews, but that didn’t work out as planned. That’s no problem. You try and fail, you adapt and kick ass. The panko fried red mullet turned out to taste great.
Red Mullet: Spicy Sauce
As said key flavours to pair the red mullet with are chillies, ginger and garlic. That’s the base of my spicy sauce. To give it some more flavour and depth I added green onion, great olive oil, salt, pepper, fresh lime juice, some fish sauce. To give it a little twist, and because I had it at home, I added a bunch of fresh basil leaves to the mix – incredible smell and flavour!
The sauce also works well as a salad dressing and as an Italian-Asian fusion salsa. To add some more flavour to it you could mix in some honey too. It’s a very easy-going and flexible dressing.
The omelette was a spontaneous idea. As I had to change plans with the breading for the fish, I also had plenty of cashews leftover. There was also plenty of egg wash left, too.
I simply took the chopped cashews, roasted them lightly, took them out of the pan again. Then I added the remaining eggs and put the cashews on top of it. Done. No waste. Great taste.
Red Mullet Salad, Spicy Basil Sauce And Cashew Omelette
All that’s left is plating everything. The dish can be a little snack for up to four people. Alternatively, it’s a delicious starter to share with a friend or you are tempted because it is so delicious and eat it all on your own as a main dish.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe. In the future, I’ll have red mullet on a more regular basis. It’s a very versatile and tasty fish. Go ahead and share this recipe with your friends or make it yourself. Let me know how it turned out.
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