We're going to clean and prepare a beautiful red mullet. After cleaning I'm cooking it sous-vide and from the bones we're going to make a delicious bouillabaisse. Later on I serve it with a carrot cream, some carrot garnish and a hollandaise that's based on the bouillabaisse. It maybe sounds like a lot, but it's definitely worth it!
The red mullet
First use the back of your knife to remove the fish scales. You have tools for this, but you need to be really gently with a red mullet. Now sharpen your knife and make a small incision in the belly. Then remove the intestines. Now insert your knife just below the fin and cut along the bone all the way to the tail. Keep your knife flat so you don’t waist any fish. Now cut the head of and repeat the process we just did. The fish trimmings & bones you can safe for later. Now take the fillets and remove the belly bones and trim the edges. Then remove middle bones and be sure to go all the way to the top. A red mullet can have some nasty small ones that are easily overlooked. Then season your fillets with salt and dust some tomato powder on top. Cover your worktop with 2 layers of plastic foil and make sure that it’s really tight. Now transfer the fillets with the skin on the outside back on top of each other. Then wrap this tight with the plastic foil and make a knot on each end. Trim the sides and keep the fish in your fridge for later.
big sweet onion
cloves of garlic cut in half
springs of tarragon
First cut the fennel in thin slices on your mandolin. Then clean the onion and cut it as well. After that take the fishbones and remove any intestines. Cut the bones in smaller pieces. Then add the fennel seeds, the coriander seeds, the star anise, the cloves of garlic, the canned tomatoes, the cut fennel & onion, the olive oil and the saffron. Now mix everything and then let it marinate overnight in your fridge. The next day you can bake the bones in an oven of 250 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes. Once that’s done transfer it into a big saucepan. Deglaze the oven dish with the white wine and put this back in the oven for 10 minutes. Now add this to the pan together with the water and the tarragon. Make sure that’s everything is covered and let it simmer for 45 minutes. The drain it and let is sit for at least 30 minutes so you don’t waist a single drop. After that reduce the bouillabaisse for 75%. Meanwhile skim off any foam and oil with a ladle. Once it’s reduced put it through a fine sieve and keep it in your fridge for later.
The bouillabaisse hollandaise
the reduced bouillabaisse
soft olive oil
Meanwhile pour the sushi vinegar in a saucepan together with the salt and the reduced bouillabaisse. Bring this to a boil. When it’s boiling add the egg yolk while mixing with a hand blender. Use the hand blender to also make the mixture airier. Now while beating the mixture cook it on a medium to low heat till it starts to thicken. Then stir in the olive oil. After that transfer it into a syphon and charge it with two charges. Shake it well after each charge.
The carrot cream
white wine vinegar
Take the carrots and peel them. Now trim of the edges and cut them in smaller pieces. Then clean the shallot and cut it in thin slices. Now heat up a pan and add the sugar. Let this caramelize. Once it’s nice and golden add the chopped shallot together with the salt and the butter. Heat this on a medium heat till the shallots are softened. Then add the chopped carrots and fry till they start to color. After that add the white wine vinegar and the vegetable stock. Now reduce the liquid completely. Then transfer it into a blender and spin it till smooth. Put it in a piping bag and keep it for later.
The carrot garnish
For this I use some beautiful orange and purple carrots grown in my own garden. After cleaning them cut of the leaves and cut the carrots on a mandolin in thin slices. Start with the orange ones and then the purple ones. Now season some boiling water with salt and blanch the carrots for around 2 minutes. Then cool them down in ice water and again start with the orange ones and then the purple ones. Otherwise the orange carrots will turn purple. Now lay the slices overlapping on a piece of foil and roll this very tight. Keep it in your fridge for later
How to finish the dish
First cook your red mullet sous-vide for 20 minutes at 52 degrees Celsius.
You can make the hollandaise earlier and just heat it up in the same hot water bath where you cook your red mullet in. Then take your carrot garnish and cut it in half. Now remove the plastic and heat them up at 160 degrees Celsius for 4 minutes. Then season with some salt. Once the red mullet is cooked remove it from the plastic foil and transfer it into a metal tray. Then toast the skin with a blow torch. Now use a sharp knife to carefully cut it in half. Then put the carrot garnish on a plate and add the hot carrot cream. Decorate it with some lupin cress. Now put the fish on the side and season it with flaky salt. And then finish it off with the bouillabaisse hollandaise and a touch of tomato powder.