Oriental-inspired barbecued mullet
How to make it...
1 whole mullet (ask the fishmonger to clean it for you)
2-3 lemongrass stalks
1 red chilli
3 cloves of garlic
2 tbsp of olive oil
A decent handful of fresh coriander
First, remove the fish from its packaging and place on a clean chopping board.
Using a small knife, descale the fish. To do this run your knife against the grain or the way the scales lay. Start at the tail and scrape towards the head removing each scale.
Take a sharp knife and make three to four slits in the side of the fish, cutting through the skin into the flesh.
Spoon your olive oil onto the fish and rub it over the skin.
Season the fish well and rub over the skin.
Place your fish on a sheet of tin foil large enough to fold over and cover the entire fish to make a sealed parcel.
Finely chop the garlic and the onion, stuffing some of it into the slits you made in the side of the fish and scattering the rest roughly around the foil.
Thinly slice the lime, again placing some of the slices into the slits you made earlier and scattering the rest into the foil. Squeeze a couple of the slices so the fish gets splashed with a little lime juice.
Bash your lemongrass stalks with a rolling pin until they are softened to release some of their aromatic oils. Place on top of the fish.
Finely chop the coriander and scatter over the fish.
Seal the fish in a tin foil parcel.
Place on a preheated barbecue and cook for around 20-25 minutes on each side.
Serve in the foil or on a platter, remembering to baste the fish with some of the lovely juices which gather at in the foil before you eat for extra flavour.
As I write this, I'm looking out over a dark and damp Bedfordshire. It looks more like the beginning of November than the start of June.
It's hard to believe that a little more than 48 hours before writing this, I was enjoying a family barbecue.
Us Brits know more than most that barbecue season can be hit and miss to say the least. But we still light up the charcoals as often as we possibly can.
And while I love a barbecue, I must admit I get rather bored with the usual offerings of burgers, sausages and ribs.
I was searching for inspiration for the grill at the supermarket when I eyed a whole fresh mullet on offer on the fish counter.
My partner and I adore fish. We eat it several times a week with the likes of salmon, tuna, sea bass and prawns taking preference over meat.
That said, I'd never actually cooked with mullet before.
So, I decided to keep it simple and choose basic Oriental-inspired flavours, such as lemongrass, that I knew paired well with white fish.
This is such an easy addition to the barbecue table. Once the fishmonger has cleaned the fish, you only need to descale it, then chop the herbs, garlic and chilli and wrap the lot in tin foil.
It almost steams itself in its own juices in the foil.
If timed right and just cooked through, the fish remains so tender and its flesh almost still has this translucence.
It's quite a fishy dish, but delicately takes on the flavours of the herbs and spices. It's best eaten straight from the bones, but i'm convinced this would be equally delicious if flaked and added to a salad. The beauty of this dish is that it's so low maintenance and makes a perfect antidote for all that red meat.