Red mullet with chilli and garlic oil

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Red mullet is given the sunshine holiday treatment in this recipe by Bryan Webb, with a creamy Mediterranean-style aubergine dip and a punchy herb dressing. Buy the whole fish sustainably so you can use the bones and heads to make a splendid fish soup as well. Grey mullet or a good farmed sea bream can both stand in for red mullet if not available.

First published in 2015




Red mullet

  • 4 red mullet, each weighing 500g
  • extra virgin olive oil

Chilli and garlic oil

Aubergine purée


  • Food processor or blender


Start this red mullet recipe by working on the aubergine purée. Preheat the oven to 220°C/Gas mark 7. Prick the aubergines several times with a fork and bake until the flesh is soft and the skins are blackened, about 30 minutes. Allow the aubergines to cool then peel them. Put the flesh in a colander, weigh it down with a plate and leave for 1 hour to drain
Take 500g of the aubergine flesh and put it in a food processor with the garlic, lemon juice, cumin and tahini. Purée the mixture, slowly adding the olive oil, then taste and adjust the seasoning
To make the chilli and garlic oil, finely chop the garlic and put it in a saucepan with the anchovy, chilli flakes and sunflower oil. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the anchovy melts, then remove the pan from the heat. Add the olive oil and set aside to cool
To cook the fish, heat the grill to maximum. Fillet the fish then season the fillets with salt and pepper. Place them skin-side up on a lightly oiled baking tray or grill-pan and grill on one side only until the fish is just cooked – about 4-6 minutes
To plate, heat the aubergine purée and place a spoonful on each serving plate. Mix some chopped parsley into the chilli and garlic oil and pour a little around the aubergine purée. Sit the cooked fish on top and serve
First published in 2015

Showcasing quality ingredients from his native Wales, Bryan Webb cooks French-inflected dishes that champion simplicity and gutsy flavour.

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