Red mullet fillets are cooked twice in this fish healthy dinner recipe. First, it is seared in a hot non-stick frying pan without any oil to seal in its moisture and give it crisp then it is roasted in a 395 degrees F. oven to finish cooking. A sauce made with wine, vegetable bouillon, and butter and flavored with caraway is poured over the fish before it is placed in the oven to keep it moist and juicy and give it amazing aroma and exquisite flavor.
Delicately flavored and subtly sweet like shellfish with a white firm textured flesh and light-pink scales, red mullet is highly prized in the Mediterranean and is a delicious and beautiful member of the goat fish family. It is a medium-sized round white fish with a maximum length of about 17 inches. High in fat content, it is juicy and moist when cooked just right, good for fish recipes. Caraway is typically seen in rye bread and has a strong flavor similar to cumin without the bitter bite. It gives the fish a bright flavor and invigorating aroma. Often sold as seeds, caraway is actually a small fruit of the caraway plant and is a member of the parsley family. It is widely used in English and eastern European cooking.
Ingredients: 4 red mullet fillets, 3.5 oz. (7 tablespoons) butter, 2/5 cups white wine, 5/6 cup vegetable bouillon, 80 grains dry caraway, salt, pepper, Guerande salt
Season the red mullet fillets with salt and pepper. Heat a nonstick pan on a high heat and sear the red mullets for about one minute on each side. Place them on a dishcloth to dry. Pour the wine and vegetable bouillon into the hot pan. Let it boil down a little then add some butter. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. Reduce by 1/3. Add the caraway and allow the mixture to slowly boil for 2 minutes. Strain. If the sauce is too syrupy, thin it with a tablespoon of vegetable bouillon. Heat the sauce a hot bain-marie (water bath). Add some caraway grains, wrapped in cheesecloth, and let them soak for 8 minutes. Cover the pan with a lid. Remove the cheesecloth and pour the liquid into a cool saucepan. Stir for 30 seconds. The result will be a lightly buttery sauce. Pour some caraway sauce on an ovenproof plate and place the red mullet fillets on top. Season with some caraway grains and sprinkle with 6 to 7 Guerande salt grains. Bake the dish in a 395 degrees F. oven for 5 to 6 minutes. Serve warm.
When buying red mullet, look for bright pink scales with streaks of gold and a front dorsal fin with a black stripe. A faded color means that the fish is not fresh. Take the fish and hold it in your hand to see if it is firm. The skin should be tight and shiny and the eyes clear and prominent. Cloudy eyes are no good. Red mullets are freshwater fish and should smell clean or briny. They are typically sold ungutted because their liver is considered as a delicacy. You can ask your fishmonger to gut and filet the red mullets for you to save time in preparation.