Poached Red Mullet with Spring Onions


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Feast of Fish

A Feast of Fish

By Ian McAndrew

Published 1989

  • About

This is a very quick dish both to prepare and cook and is ideal as a first course, but it is also good as a main course for two people. The colour combinations of this dish do make it look quite stunning.


  • 1 X 115 g/4 oz red mullet
  • 175 g/6 oz spring onions
  • 175 g/6 oz cold unsalted butter
  • 50 ml/2 fl oz dry sherry
  • 175 ml/6 fl oz fish stock
  • 50 ml/2 fl oz double cream


    Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/Gas Mark 5.

    Scale and fillet the red mullet. Remove the line of small bones that runs down the middle of each fillet with a pair of pliers.

    Trim the onions as necessary. Save 12 small ones as garnish and finely chop the rest. Heat about 15 g/½ oz of the butter in a saucepan, add the chopped onions, cover with a tightly-fitting lid and cook over a fairly high heat, stirring to prevent burning, for about 1 minute or until they are soft but still retain a little bite. When cooked, transfer them to a blender or food processor and chop until they are fairly smooth but not a purée.

    Lay the fillets of red mullet, skin side up, in a buttered ovenproof pan, add the sherry and the fish stock and cover with buttered paper or foil. Heat the liquid gently until it just starts to tremble, then transfer to the oven and cook for about 1 minute. It really does not take very long to cook the fillets, so be careful not to overcook them. When cooked, remove the fish from the stock, cover and keep warm.

    To make the sauce, return the stock to the heat, bring back to – the boil and reduce until syrupy. Add the cream and the spring onions that were set to one side, return to the boil briefly, and then remove from the heat. Gradually add the remaining butter, whisking until it has all melted. If you need to reheat the sauce, do not let it get too hot or the butter will separate. Finally, reheat the finely chopped spring onions in a little butter.