One of my favourite fishes: red mullets, especially the fried version of red mullets.
But this time I have eaten red mullets baked in the oven, for the very first time. Fried red mullets are awesome, especially if you eat them at a Greek tavern by the sea after a long day on the beach. But since I prefer not to fry in my kitchen – mainly because of the smell of the fried fish – I tried a less “smeely” and much more light method of cooking my fishes: the oven.
Lately, I have adopted a great habit. Every Saturday morning I go to the local fish market of Thessaloniki, named Kapani, where I can find almost every fresh fish I want. You see, Mediterranean diet recommends to limit the intake of processed foods, while promotes adequate servings of seafood for an optimal health and long life. Wouldn’t be a pity not to take advantage of the fact that I live at Greece and eat every Saturday fresh fish? Sure it would.
When you buy fresh fish it is very important to know how to choose fresh fish. Fisrt, let me quote Tony Montana from Scarface “the eyes Chico, they never lie”. Look for bright, clear eyes. Meaning, if the eyes are blurred and curved inwards then the fish is not fresh. Another characteristic of the fresh fish is the rigidity of its body, the more rigid, the fresher. Of course you should also check its smell (a fresh fish should smell like clean water) and to check its gills – they should be a rich red.
Meanwhile, lately I have heard about the concept of matured fish, same case as the matured meat. They say that a matured fish has greater flavor than a fresh. The truth is that I do not have an opinion on the matured fish since by now I haven’t eaten any (as far as I know).
At the end, in order to guarantee that the fish is fresh we have to read about the seasonality of the fishes. If we choose the fish according to its seasonality, and also by taking into account its minimum allowable size, we benefit not only ourselves, but also the environment (meaning us again).
So, last Saturday I went to the local market and found some fresh red mullets. Their smell, a.k.a. the smell of the sea, was too rich and I didn’t want to ruin it with a lot of spices and herds. Thus, I have just used red pepper and some salt in order to enhance the mouthwatering, natural flavor of the fishes. While, on the top I have just added some parsley, olive oil and lemon juice.
Baked red mullets were awesome, tender, juicy and ready only in 15 minutes!
You can serve your fish with a side of vegetables, since fishes pair perfectly with seasonal vegetables for a simple and easy-to-prepare meal. I have served mine fishes with brocolli salad.
Baked red mullets
Baked red mullets
- 800 gr red mullets
- ground pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- lemon juice of 2 lemons
- finely chopped parsley
First, preheat the oven to 180*C.
Sprinkle the red mullets with salt and ground pepper and then dust them with flour.
Line a pan with baking sheet and set aside. In a bowl pour in olive oil and then dip in the red mullets, one by one.
Arrange the fishes at the pan and drizzle over the lemon juice.
Cover them with baking sheet and bake at for 15 minutes.
Then, uncover them and turn on the grill and allow them to get a slightly red-brown colour, it will take 2 to 3 minutes.
Serve the fishes and drizzle them with the juices left on the pan. The juices left on the pan give them a mouthwatering flavor. Sprinkle them with parsley (optional).
I hope to like my post and to bake some fresh fish for yourself!