That you have to eat more fish a week is no secret – unless we are vegetarian or vegan – it is a very healthy and simple food to prepare. But it is usual that we always resort to the same typical species, often frozen or farmed. Choosing seasonal fish is a great bet that also guarantees us greater enjoyment at the table.
These weeks it is still time for fresh mullets, a semi-fat fish with firm meat and very tasty, but softer than other blue fish. Fundamentally, we find two varieties, of mud and rock, this being more appreciated and of greater size, with some yellow lines along the body. In any case, a delicious and nutritious fish is worth claiming.
With about 4 g of fat per 100 g of edible portion, the mullet is rich in omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, proteins of high biological value in addition to minerals such as iodine, and vitamins, standing out from group B.
Preparing it is the simplest, lending itself to different traditional techniques that do not have to be too complicated. Its beautiful color and shape make it ideal for cooking whole, previously cleaned of viscera and scales, to serve as a ration after going through the oven. They can also be fried, cooked on coals or grilled.
If there are children at home or we find larger mullets, we can ask that the spines without spines be separated and cooked on the grill, leaving the skin very crispy. Cooked meat crumbles easily and is suitable for preparing a stuffing of pasta, meatballs, tortillas or croquettes.
This fish does not need large sauces or dressings that mask its flavor. Lemon juice, roasted or refried garlic and some fresh or dried herbs, such as parsley, bay leaf, thyme or tarragon combine very well. We can also venture with a more Asian touch by adding fresh ginger and cilantro.
It combines very well with any seasonal vegetables, in some areas it is served with ajoblanco and is also used to prepare very tasty sailor rice, using its head and thorns for the fumet and adding the crispy loins at the end. It also lends itself to making lighter suquets or papillotes.
Red mullet loins at low temperature
For this tasty recipe, we can need a very beautiful mullet, weighing more than half a kilo. We can ask in fish shop to prepare the loins of ration, but without wasting the head and thorns. With this, we can make a rich fumet, cooking them with half a liter of water and some vegetables, such as carrots and half an onion.
Ingredients for 2 people:
2 loins of mullet of about 600 g, 10 ml of extra virgin olive oil, 2 g of coarse salt, 100 g of peas, 4 nuts, water or fish fumet, 1 tablespoon of mashed potatoes in flakes.
Vacuum packed each loin previously seasoned with salt crystals and a few drops of virgin olive oil, if it can be smoked. Once packaged we cook them in a soft water bath with the sous vide technique. We do it at a low temperature in a saucepan, leaving them for 25 minutes at 56º. We take out of the container and reserve them. If you like gold, you can pass the loins cooked by a pan. On the other hand, we boil the peas in a couple of fumet pots to increase their flavor. With the rest of the broth and a spoonful of mashed potatoes, we make a very fine puree. On that puree, we place the mullets, peas and some nuts gratin in the oven to make them more crispy.
A very simple recipe ideal to enjoy this healthy fish without more paraphernalia, with all its flavor. The simplest is to acquire medium-sized specimens, serving per person, clean but completely. With salad or some potatoes also roasted or cooked, it is a humble but luxurious menu.
Ingredients for 4 people:
4 ration mullets, 2 lemons, 1 bay leaf, 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, 2 cloves of garlic, 50 ml of extra virgin olive oil, salt and black pepper.
We will start preparing the mullets that we have previously asked our fishmonger to scavenge. We remove the viscera by opening them lengthwise, and wash them well. We place them in a baking dish, add salt and pepper inside, place the bay leaf on the tray and add a mixture made of the juice of half a lemon and apple cider vinegar. Preheat the oven to 200º C. In a pan, heat the oil and add the rolled garlic, browning it a little. We pour this garlic on the mullets and bake them for about eight minutes.
Skewer of mullets with edible scales
A very original recipe to mark a pecking of category at home with guests, or simply enjoy the delicious contrast of textures and flavors any day of the week. The only complicated thing is to remove the clean and whole loins of the fish, which in this case interests us small. With patience and a good knife, it is not that difficult, but if we have a trusted fishmonger, we can save this task.
Ingredients for 6 people:
6 mullets, small, very fresh, sunflower oil, 1 clove of garlic, black salt, a lime and a tomato.
We need two pans and a rack. (I have used the one that comes in the microwave). We put one of the pans on high heat with sunflower oil. While it warms up, we put the mullet loins with the skin up, on the rack that we will have placed on the other pan. When the oil is very hot, we pour it over the mullets of the mullets and see how they cook instantly and how the scales bristle turning into crispy crystals. It may be necessary to do this operation two or three times. Simply change the rack from one pan to the other and repeat the bath in boiling oil until they are to our liking.