Grey Sea Mullet Baked with Butter

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • serves


Appears in

Darina Allen's Simply Delicious Suppers

Darina Allen's Simply Delicious Suppers

By Darina Allen

Published 2001

  • About

Grey sea mullet is possibly the most under-estimated fish in our waters at present. Its flavour and texture are in my opinion every bit as good as sea bass but it costs a fraction of the price, so search for it in your fish shops before everyone discovers it and the price goes up. Remember how cheap monkfish used to be a few years ago! Grey sea mullet has large scales which must be removed. It is wonderful poached, fried or baked.


  • 1 grey sea mullet, 1.6–1.8 kg approx.
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 55–110 g butter
  • sprig of fennel


  • sprigs of fennel
  • 4 lemon segments


Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.

Scale the mullet, wash and gut if necessary. Dry the fish well.

Take a large sheet of good-quality tinfoil. Season the fish inside and out. Smear with lots of butter and put a few knobs into the centre with a sprig of fennel if available. Don’t put lemon wedges or bay leaf or anything else – it doesn’t need it. Place the fish in the centre of the tinfoil, draw up the edges and sides and seal well so that no butter or juices can escape while cooking.

Bake for about 45 minutes in a moderate oven. Test to see if the fish is cooked by lifting up some of the flesh off the bone near the head. There should be no trace of pink and it should lift off the bone easily. Put the whole package on to a serving dish. Garnish with a few sprigs of fennel and 4 lemon segments. Serve right away. Remove the skin as you serve and spoon the buttery cooking juices over the fish.