Pan Fried Red Mullet with Fennel, Blood Orange and Caper Butter Recipe

red mullet recipe

This delicious Red Mullet recipe was developed by Troy Rhoades-Brown from Muse Restaurant, Cafe and Kitchen to celebrate the Hunter Culinary Association’s 6th Annual Food Fight. For more information about the event, please visit

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Skills needed: Beginner

Serves four



  • 1kg red mullet fillets (ask your fish monger to scale and fillet for you)
  • 4 bulbs of baby fennel
  • 4 blood orange
  • 1 bunch curly parsley
  • 5g sea salt flakes
  • 25g baby capers
  • 6 turns of the pepper mill
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 50g toasted almond
  • 80g salted butter


  1. Lightly score the skin of the red mullet with a sharp knife taking care not to cut through the flesh, set aside at room temperature.
  2. Place the fennel bulbs upright on your chopping board and slice fine leaving the core intact when possible. Chop the parsley fine then add the zest of two blood oranges.
  3. Remove the skin from all the blood oranges and roughly slice into pieces.
  4. Take a large non-stick fry pan and place on a medium-high heat.
  5. Salt and pepper the skin of the red mullet.
  6. Add a small amount of vegetable oil to the pan and place the red mullet skin side down for approximately 4 minutes. Once you have achieved a lovely crispy skin, flip the fish and cook for a further 1 minute. Remove the fish from the pan and rest on some paper towel.
  7. Add your sliced fennel to the same hot pan and cook for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add your butter, capers, parsley, zest and blood orange.
  8. Place the fish on the plate, spoon over your blood orange and fennel butter. Garnish with toasted almonds and watercress.


  • This dish is so versatile, if you can’t find red mullet use your favourite fish. I recommend ocean trout, Spanish mackerel, John Dory or whiting
  • If you can’t find blood oranges some good ruby navel oranges will be just as good. Depending on your guests I also like to sneak a little bit of chopped anchovy into the butter as well.
  • Coming into spring this makes for a fantastic lunch or dinner. Serve with a potato salad and a bowl of mixed leaves.




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Jolene is Editor at Mum Media Group, where she enjoys writing, sharing and connecting with other like-minded women online – it also gives her the perfect excuse to ignore Mount-Washmore until it threatens to bury her family in an avalanche of Skylander T-shirts and Frozen Pyjama pants. (No one ever knows where the matching top is!) Likes: Reading, cooking, sketching, dancing (preferably with a Sav Blanc in one hand), social media, and sitting down on a toilet seat that one of her children hasn’t dripped, splashed or sprayed on. Dislikes: Writing pretentious crap about herself in online bio’s and refereeing arguments amongst her offspring.


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