Red mullet grilled in vine leaves

Red mullet grilled in vine leaves

By
From
New Middle Eastern Food
Serves
4
Photographer
Mark Roper

Fish markets around the shores of the Eastern Mediterranean are mounded high with pretty little red mullet and this method of wrapping them in tangy vine leaves and grilling — a dish known as Sultan Ibrahim — is one of our favourites. It also works very well using sardines.

Chopped egg, coriander and lemon dressing

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
125ml Lemon–garlic dressing
2 soft-boiled eggs, chopped
1/2 cup roughly chopped coriander leaves
12 x 120-140g red mullet
12 vine leaves, fresh or preserved
olive oil, for frying

Method

  1. To make the dressing, toss the ingredients together and keep at room temperature until ready to serve.
  2. To scale the red mullet, hold it under running water and use your thumb to run against the scales from tail to head — they come away very easily. Leave the fins and tail attached for presentation, but use a sharp knife to slice the fish open along the underbelly. Hold the sides open and pull the intestines away. Insert your finger into the reddish-coloured gills and pull them out too. Rinse the insides of the fish under running water, paying special attention to rubbing away the dark blood line against the backbone. Pat dry.
  3. If you are using preserved vine leaves, soak them well, then rinse and pat them dry. Fresh vine leaves should be blanched in boiling water for 30 seconds and then refreshed in cold water.
  4. Arrange the vine leaves on a work surface, vein side up. Trim off the stalks and cut each leaf into a rectangle. Place a red mullet in the middle of each vine leaf and wrap the leaf around the fish.
  5. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the fish in batches, for 2–3 minutes on each side. The vine leaves should be slightly blackened, but the fish will be tender, white and juicy. Serve straight away with the dressing.
Tags:
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Middle
Eastern
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