Fried red mullet with oranges and capers

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
10 to 30 mins

Serves 4

The red mullet off Monemvasia are supposedly the best in the Aegean. A net full of them, red yes, but pink too with flashes of yellow as the sun rose on a still dark blue sea is a lovely recollection, and fried for breakfast later they were quite memorable. A month later though, I saw three autumn mullet in our fish shop and I cooked them simply with a dusting of semolina. I used to think the Mediterranean mullet were better than ours, but now I know the ones that come to Cornwall in autumn are pretty hard to beat.

By Rick Stein

From Rick Stein: From Venice to Istanbul


  • 8 small or 4 medium red mullet, scaled and gutted
  • ½ tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • semolina, for dusting
  • 50ml/2fl oz olive oil
  • 2 small oranges; 1 zested and juiced, 1 thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • small handful flatleaf parsley, roughly chopped


  1. Season the red mullet with the salt and some pepper, and dust with semolina.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the fish on both sides until golden-brown. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.

  3. Deglaze the pan with the orange zest and juice, then add the orange slices, capers, pine nuts, chilli flakes and parsley to the pan and warm through. Pour over the fish and serve immediately.

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