A great dinner party dish of pan-fried red mullet with cous cous and deep fried red pepper strips.


  • Fish:

  • 6 fresh red mullet, filleted

  • 6 tbsp dark soy sauce

  • 1dstsp syrup from a jar of stem ginger

  • 1dstsp sherry

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 shallots, roughly chopped

  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

  • 50ml white wine vinegar

  • 175ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 150ml water

  • zest and juice of 2 oranges

  • ½ red chilli, roughly chopped

  • 1 tsp ground cumin

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 3 sprigs coriander

  • 1tsp caster sugar

  • Tomato & Chilli Jam:

  • 500g tomatoes quartered

  • 2 red chillies, deseeded and roughly chopped

  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

  • 2cm fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

  • 2tbs hoi sin sauce

  • 1 heaped tbsp soft light brown sugar

  • 1tbs white wine vinegar

  • 1tbs olive oil

  • For the couscous:

  • 150g couscous

  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil

  • 2cm grated root ginger

  • 1 red pepper, skinned, deseeded and finely diced

  • 1 tbsp chives, chopped

  • 1 tbsp coriander, chopped

  • 200ml boiling fish stock (see recipe)

  • Garnish:

  • 1 red pepper

  • Flour for dusting

  • Sunflower oil for deep frying

  • microherbs

  • salt and pepper


  • 1.

    First remove the pin bones from the fish with tweezers (this is worth the trouble). To marinade the fish, mix the dark soy, stem ginger syrup and sherry together and steep the red mullet in it for at least an hour.

  • 2.

    Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette, combine all the ingredients in a small pan and bring to the boil. Then turn down and simmer until the vinaigrette starts to thicken – this could take about 15 minutes. Then leave to cool and put through a fine sieve.

  • 3.

    For the chilli jam, Put all the ingredients into a food processor and blend until well puréed, then put into a large saucepan and cook slowly for about 15 minutes until all the liquid has evaporated and the texture becomes thick and chutney like. Keep in the fridge until required.

  • 4.

    Pour the couscous into a large bowl and add the olive oil, grated ginger, red pepper, chives , coriander and seasoning and mix together well. Pour the boiling fish stock over and leave until ready to use.

  • 5.

    Cut the red pepper into fine julienne strips dust with flour and then deep-fry until crispy. Drain well on kitchen paper.

  • 6.

    When ready to serve, dry the fish well. Heat the oil in a frying pan and quickly fry the red mullet skin-side down first for 2-3 minutes. Then carefully turn over and fry for a further 2-3 minutes until just cooked through.

  • 7.

    Take a 5cm mousse ring and put some couscous in the middle of the plate then top with the fish then a small pile of tomato and chilli jam surrounded by vinaigrette. Garnish with the deep fried pepper strips and microherbs and serve.

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