Grey mullet with mushrooms and saffron and roasted garlic potato purée

Grey mullet with mushrooms and saffron and roasted garlic potato purée

Fish Kitchen
David Loftus

Grey mullet, at its best, is one of my favourite fish. The fish caught out at sea are sometimes compared to bass, but to me this fish has its own unique flavour and texture. One thing for sure, it can handle some big flavours, so garlic, saffron, mushrooms and parsley work very well with it. Why pan-fried? You wait until you taste that skin, then you’ll get it!


Quantity Ingredient
4 grey mullet fillets, pin-boned
cornish sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Saffron and roasted garlic potato purée

Quantity Ingredient
1 large garlic bulb
150ml light olive oil, plus extra for cooking
500g floury potatoes, peeled
1/2 teaspoon saffron strands
4 egg yolks
50ml white wine vinegar

Sautéed mushrooms with garlic and parsley

Quantity Ingredient
1 garlic clove, peeled
a handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
300g mixed wild or japanese-style cultivated mushrooms

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
good-quality olive oil, for dressing
2 limes, halved


  1. Heat your oven to 200°C. Split the garlic bulb into individual cloves. Take a square of foil and scrunch up the sides. Put all but one of the garlic cloves inside, sprinkle with salt and drizzle with a little olive oil. Seal the foil bag, place on an oven tray and roast for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, put the potatoes into a pan of cold salted water, bring to a simmer and cook until soft, about 15 minutes. Drain and leave in the colander to dry for a few minutes.
  3. Let the roasted garlic cool slightly, then peel. Put the potatoes in a food processor with the saffron, roasted garlic and egg yolks and blend, adding the 150 ml olive oil in a steady stream. When it is all incorporated, stop the machine and add the wine vinegar and a little salt. Blend for 2 minutes, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Transfer to a bowl, cover with cling film and keep warm until ready to serve.
  4. Heat an ovenproof non-stick frying pan (or one that doesn’t stick) over a medium heat. Chop the reserved garlic clove with the parsley. When the pan is hot, add a drizzle of olive oil, then the mushrooms. Cook for 2 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the chopped garlic and parsley and stir well. Transfer the mushrooms to a dish; keep warm.
  5. Wipe out the pan and return to a medium heat. When hot, add a drizzle of oil. Season the fish all over with salt and pepper and place skin side down in the pan. Cook for about 3 minutes until the edges start to turn golden, then transfer to the oven for 2 minutes.
  6. As you remove the frying pan from the oven, turn the fish fillets over; the residual heat in the pan will finish the cooking while you start to plate up.
  7. Share the mushrooms between 4 warm plates and put a large spoonful of the potato purée alongside. Add a pan-fried fish fillet, placing it skin side up, and finish with a drizzle of good olive oil and a lime half.
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