Pan-fried red mullet with sauce vierge and saffron and garlic mash

Impress your guests with a stylish fish dish with Michel Lemoine's red mullet with a basil-flavoured sauce and tasty mash
By Michel Lemoine
Pan-fried red mullet with sauce vierge and saffron and garlic mash
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus 1 hr standing
  • Effort: medium



  • 8 red mullet fillets, pin boned
  • 1 pinches black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Sauce vierge

  • 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 medium shallots, finely diced
  • 4 vine tomatoes, skinned, seeded and diced
  • 3 tbsp basil, finely shredded
  • 2 small clove garlic, crushed and finely chopped
  • 4 lemons, wedges
  • 1 pinches black pepper
  • 4 basil

Safron and garlic mash

  • 700 g potatoes, Maris Piper or another floury variety, peeled and chopped
  • 8 clove garlic
  • 1 pinches strands saffron
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil


1. First prepare the sauce vierge. Mix together the olive oil, shallots, tomatoes, shredded basil and garlic. 2. Set aside to stand forĀ one hour before serving. 3. To make the saffron and garlic mash, boil the potatoes, garlic cloves and saffron together in a pan of boiling water for 15 minutes until potatoes are soft. Make sure the potatoes are only just covered with water otherwise the colour and flavour will dilute. 4. Drain and mash the potatoes and garlic. 5. Bring the cream to the boil in a little saucepan. 6. Pour the hot cream over the mashed potatoes and add in the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix thoroughly. 7. Season the mullet with salt and freshly ground pepper. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based frying pan. 8. Fry the red mullet fillets, skin side-down, for three minutes.9. Flip and cook for a further minute. 10. To serve, spoon a mound of mash each onto the centre of four warm plates. Spoon the sauce Vierge around the mash.11. Place the mullet over the potato, skin side up, and garnish with a wedge of lemon, basil leaves and drizzle a little olive oil around. Serve at once.

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