Seared red mullet with à la Grecque vegetables & basmati pilaf

Seared red mullet with à la Grecque vegetables & basmati pilaf

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(2 ratings)

Prep: 1 hr, 30 mins Cook: 45 mins

A challenge

Serves 4
Gordon Ramsay's recipe is a real spring treat and great for practising your technique for preparing fish.

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal873
  • fat48g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs67g
  • sugars14g
  • fibre3g
  • protein44g
  • salt1g
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  • 4 red mullet about 300g each, ungutted, scaled (see step by step)
  • 2 large banana shallots or 4 smaller ones



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 2 fat garlic cloves
  • 2 carrots



    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 1 fennel bulb
    Fennel bulb

    Fennel bulb

    Like Marmite, fennel is something that you either love or hate – its strong aniseed…

  • about 150ml olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • good pinch saffron strands



    The stigma of a type of crocus, saffron threads have a pungent and distinctive aroma and flavour…

  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 250g cherry tomato, halved
  • 100ml balsamic vinegar
    Balsamic vinegar

    Balsamic vinegar

    bal-sam-ick vin-ee-gah

    True Balsamic vinegar is an artisan product from Modena, in Emilia Romagna, Italy, and is made…

  • large handful fresh coriander, roughly chopped

For the pilaf

  • 250g basmati rice
  • 1 orange, grated zest



    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 1 lemon, grated zest



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 1 lime, grated zest



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • 1 tsp fenugreek seed, crushed
    Fenugreek seed

    Fenugreek seed

    fenn-you-greek seed

    A popular seed in Indian cookery, in which it's termed methi, this small, hard, mustard…

  • ½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed
    Coriander seed

    Coriander seed

    kor-ee-and-er seed

    The small, creamy brown seeds of the coriander plant give dishes a warm, aromatic and slightly…

  • ½ tsp fennel seeds, crushed
    Fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds

    feh-nell seeds

    A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

  • 2 cardamom pods, crushed
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 star anise
    Star anise

    Star anise

    star an-eese

    Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with…

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 onion, sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 450ml fish stock (made with the bones or use a good-quality ready made stock)


  1. Using a very sharp filleting knife, make a cut at the head on a slant, then turn the fish and cut under the dorsal (top) fin.

  2. Press the fish down firmly with one hand, bending it slightly along the back so that the flesh is taut. Then slide the knife in at the top of the backbone.

  3. Cut down against the rib cage at a downward slant. Letting the knife do the work, push the tip against the centre of the bone, working your way down to the tail. Turn the fish over and repeat on the other side.

  4. Trim the fillets neatly. Remove the pin bones using your fingernails or tweezers. In the restaurant kitchen, we use a straight-sided potato peeler, hooking the bone head and twisting it out. After filleting and pin-boning, pat dry (do not rinse or you’ll lose flavour).

  5. Thinly slice the shallots, garlic and carrots. Quarter and core the fennel then slice the fennel quarters as thinly as you can – use a mandolin, if possible.

  6. Heat 3 tbsp oil in a sauté frying pan and fry the vegetables together for 5 mins with the saffron, cardamom and bay leaf.

  7. Add 2 tbsp oil and continue cooking for 5 mins. Season well, remove from the heat and stir in the tomatoes, vinegar, 3 tbsp oil, and coriander.

  8. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a non-stick frying pan and, when hot, lay in the fillets, skin-side down. Season and cook for 2 mins, then carefully turn and cook for 1-2 mins – but no more, the flesh should be slightly undercooked. Remove from the heat.

  9. Tip half the vegetables into a shallow dish, lay the fillets on top, then cover with the remaining vegetables.

  10. Leave to marinate for 10 mins before serving warm. Prepare up to this point up to 1 day ahead and keep in the fridge. Bring to room temperature before serving.

  11. Soak the rice in cold water for 5 mins, then drain well and tip into a bowl. Mix in the grated zests. Add all the spices. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Make a cartouche (see tip below).

  12. Heat oil in an ovenproof casserole, then sauté onion for 5 mins. Add rice and wine, boil until evaporated, then add the stock. Bring to the boil.

  13. Top with the cartouche and a well-fitting lid. Bake for 20 mins, then take out of the oven, uncover, fork the grains, re-cover. Leave to stand for 5 mins, then serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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29th Oct, 2015
Sorry Gordon, your recipe sank like Titanic in our household! Nice recipe on paper but I would bother to repeat it.
22nd Feb, 2014
Delicious! Filled the kitchen with lovely aromas and tasted lovely. I started with the rice however, thus ensuring everything was ready at the same time.
24th Jun, 2012
amazing recipe Gordon!!! could you check and maybe make mine here is the link
17th Apr, 2008
This is the second Gordon Ramsey recipe that I have been thrilled with. The first was that delicious pork pie at Christmas. I did not have red mullet but live only 2 miles from the sea and was lucky enough to find a fisherman yesterday morning that had caught grey mullet. It was very very tastey indeed and a snip of a bargain at £1.50 per fish. Two large fish fed 6 people and left enough to keep my 4 cats very happy. Thank you Mr. Ramsey I shall be looking at your recipes now for Sea Bass as that is starting to come closer into our local shoreline at the moment as is mackerel.
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