Grilled Red Mullet with Orange and Basil Butter Sauce

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Feast of Fish

A Feast of Fish

By Ian McAndrew

Published 1989

  • About

This sensational summer dish is so easy to prepare, and with such vivid colours it will never fail to impress.


  • 4 X 225 g/8 oz red mullet
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 175 g/6 oz unsalted butter, well chilled
  • 3 oranges
  • 120 ml/4 fl oz fish stock
  • 55 ml/2 fl oz dry vermouth
  • 55 ml/2 fl oz double cream
  • 10-12 fresh basil leaves


    As red mullet can be cooked either with or without being gutted the choice is yours. Scale the fish and either leave whole or fillet. Place the fish on a grilling tray and season. Melt 25 g/1 oz of the butter, baste the fish and grill under a hot grill for 3 minutes for a fillet and 8-10 minutes for a whole fish. The whole fish will have to be turned, but be careful as the skin is very thin indeed, so try not to break it. If, however, you are cooking only the fillets, grill them skin side up without turning. Whichever way you choose, baste frequently with the melted butter.

    To make the sauce, peel 1 orange, cut the zest into very fine strips or julienne and squeeze out the juice. Segment the remaining oranges. Bring the fish stock, vermouth and the orange juice to the boil and reduce until syrupy. Add the zest and the cream and bring back to the boil.