Gordon Ramsay's recipe is a real spring treat and great for practising your technique for preparing fish.
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Choosing the best fish
Look for very bright red gills (under the flaps by the eyes) and eyes that are still prominent, bright and not sunken. The skin should be shiny and moist and smell fresh.
Scaling and filleting
Red mullet has a lot of scales, but they are very soft and can be pulled off with your fingertips. Do this into a plastic bag. It is easier to fillet a fish that still has its guts because this makes the body firmer. To keep the fish steady on the board as you work, you can sit it on a clean J-cloth. Look out for specialist filleting knives – the blade should be really flexible (see left) which helps getting into tricky corners. Make sure you sharpen it regularly.
Use the bones for fish stock
Red mullet bones make delicious stock, so save the bones, but gut the fish after filleting and remove the eyes from the head. The bones freeze well if you want to make stock later.
Cook the perfect rice
Soaking the rice makes the grains lighter and quicker to cook. Covering the rice with a cartouche (see below), helps to seal in the steam during cooking and keeps it moist. Top the pan with a well-fitting lid, too. Leave the rice to rest for at least 5 mins after baking make it fluffy.
Making a cartouche
Take some greaseproof paper, large enough to cover the pan. Fold into quarters, then fold twice again to make a pointed triangle. Place the point at the centre of the pan base, measure where the edge of the pan comes to and tear to fit. Unfold to reveal a circle just the right size.