Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Marinated Peppery Red Mullet



This time, we’ll prepare something very simple yet tasty. If you want to try out this one, you will not need many ingredients; you should, however, like to eat raw fish. I’ve tried out red mullet and was very satisfied with the result: a summery-fresh taste reminding me of sun and sea and holidays.

The red mullet is a small fish you find in the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. You will recognize it very easily by its striped red-and silver skin. It is a semi-fat fish (unsaturated fat, perfect for your health) that will bring you lots of proteins as well as mineral nutrients (iodine, iron, phosphor) and vitamins.

What you need: 
  • 12 red mullet fillets (without fish bones) 
  • 1 orange or red pepper 
  • ½ cucumber 
  • 2 limes 
  • 2 branches of thyme (citrus thyme if possible) 
  • 1 spoonful of different pepper grains 
  • Salt 
  • Olive oil 
How to proceed: 
  • Cut the cucumber and the red or orange pepper into small cubes. 
  • Cut the fish fillets into stripes. Make sure there are no fish bones left. My fillets were sold with that big ’n’ bold imprint “NO FISH BONES” – my ass! But the remaining bones were scarce and easy to spot so I simply plucked them out with tweezers.
  • Put fish and vegetable cubes in a bowl. 
  • Squeeze the limes and mix their juice with 2-3 spoonfuls of olive oil. 
  • Grind the pepper grains. 
  • Pluck the thyme. It should be citrus thyme, which has a strong lemony taste – did I hear someone murmur “Duh!”? Anyway, I didn’t have citrus thyme, so I took some ordinary thyme, which lent a supplementary Mediterranean touch to the dish. 
  • Pour the lime-oil mixture over fish stripes and vegetable cubes. 
  • Add some salt, the ground pepper and thyme. 
  • Cover the bowl with a wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. 
  • Serve with thin slices of toasted bread. 
I was really surprised by the rich aroma of the lime-pepper-thyme mixture, which mingled with the relative sweetness of the red pepper and the juicy freshness of the cucumber. This accompanied so well the subtle taste of the fish! And by the way, if you leave the fish long enough (I prepared the dish at lunchtime and served it for dinner), it will remain more or less al dente, but look almost “cooked” by the limes’ acidity. 
Have yourself a nice glass of fruity white wine with this, and you’ll see how fabulous raw fish can taste! 

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