This delicious baked red mullet recipe is from “Real Food by Mike” which is a collection of seasonal wholefood recipes with an emphasis on wellbeing

About The Author Mike McEnearney

Mike McEnearney is a chef who has worked at London’s Pied a Terre, Pharmacy, and Scott’s of Mayfair. His own ventures, based in Sydney, Australia, include the popular pop-up Mike’s Table, and restaurants Kitchen By Mike and No. 1 Bent St.

Real Food by Mike reminds us that we are what we eat – but that doesn’t mean what we eat can’t be delicious. This book is perfect for health-conscious people who still adore things like pork belly and gooey French cheese.

The book is based around the idea of the physic garden, in which plants are grown for their medicinal benefits to the body. The recipes, divided by season, are annotated with the medicinal plants used and their health benefits. Simply presented and approachable, these are recipes you’ll want to cook and eat time and time again.

You can find out more about Mike on his website here

Ingredients For Baked Red Mullet

Quantities here are for four people

4 large red mullet fillets from Walter Purkis & Sons
20 g  bottarga (cured fish roe) from Walter Purkis & Sons
15 g butter
15 ml (1⁄2 fl oz) extra-virgin olive oil
1⁄2 lemon, juiced, plus lemon wedges to serve
3 teaspoons white wine
200 g  Café de Paris butter

“The dish is garnished with a small grating of bottarga (cured fish roe usually Mullet) to give an intense taste of the sea. This is optional but certainly adds that little extra something.

You can pan-fry the fish in foaming butter instead of ‘wet baking’, particularly if you prefer to use small whole fish. However, I find that the wet baking helps keep thin fillets moist, especially when they have such delicate-textured flesh. This dish is delicious served with Cumin-scented carrots.

The Café de Paris butter recipe (below) makes more than you’ll need here. Keep the extra in the freezer and use it for melting on seafood or steak.”

Mike McEnearney

Cooking Method For Baked Red Mullet

Preheat the oven to 210°C (410°F).

Line a baking dish large enough to hold all the fillets with baking paper.  For the fish, melt the butter with the olive oil in a saucepan then pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish along with the lemon juice and wine.

Place the fish fillets into the dish, skin side down, to coat the skin. Then turn the fish skin side up and bake for 5 minutes without turning. Alternatively place under a grill to give a blistered crispy skin. Remove the fish from the oven and allow to rest while you make a sauce.

Pour the remaining juice from the dish into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Whisk in half the Café de Paris butter. When fully absorbed, add the remaining Café de Paris butter, whisking again to combine and form a thick butter sauce.

Transfer the fish to warmed serving plates and spoon over the sauce. Finely grate over the bottarga. Serve right away with lemon wedges.

Ingredients for  Café de Paris Butter

1 brown onion, finely diced
1 pinch sea salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 pinch white pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
250g unsalted butter
2 thyme sprigs
30g anchovies, finely chopped
30g salted capers, rinsed and drained well
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
15g loosely packed basil leaves, finely shredded
20g fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely shredded
10g fresh tarragon, finely shredded

Cooking Method For  Café de Paris Butter

In a frying pan over medium heat, sweat the onion and salt for 3 minutes in the oil until soft and translucent. Add the curry powder, white pepper and ground ginger and cook for 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Allow to cool.

Transfer the cool spice mixture to a blender, along with the remaining ingredients, and blitz until smooth. Roll the butter into a cylinder in plastic cling film, label and store in the freezer.

Photography credit Alan Benson