French Fried Red Mullet


What I really wanted was yellow cornmeal coated cat or buffalo fish fried by my father. But my father died many years ago, there’s no yellow cornmeal in the French supermarkets that I know of and my ‘monger would certainly sneer if I requested the equivalent of Mississippi bottom feeders.  I needed to “encourage myself.”

‘Couraged, I strode into the fish market, pointed at the fresh, pretty red mullets and requested that Steve perform a major gutting and scaling, which he did.


Boldly, I added a box of the French fish coating to my order.  It’s nothing like yellow cornmeal but mullet is nothing like catfish either.  You can’t always get what you want.


Back at the house, encouraged already, I fortified myself with a direct swig from the bottle of chilled Veuve Clicquot 😀


Concentration broken, I took a picture of the garden onions and garlic I found at the vide grenier (community yard sale) in Maillot.


Then another gratuitous picture of Jessie with her rabbit bed that I got for 4 euros.  Such a deal!


And, in case of deep frying disaster, I took a picture of the prepped plate I also found at the vide grenier.  Finally I fried the fish.  It wasn’t Louisiana wild catfish, but it was good in a “French” fried way.

Deep Fried Red Mullet

4 red mullets, scaled and gutted

Salt, pepper, garlic powder

1/2 cup flour

1/4 cup bread crumbs

Peanut oil for deep frying

Season the mullet with the salt, pepper and garlic powder.  Mix the flour and bread crumbs together, then coat the fish with the mixture.  Heat the oil until very hot and fry the fish until golden and cooked.



About cookinginsens

An American living in Burgundy, France
This entry was posted in American, Cooking, fish, Food and Wine, French, Main dishes, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to French Fried Red Mullet

  1. Robert Fulks says:

    Ooo. . .had to read twice to realize the “fish” went with the “cat.” What ingredients are in the “farinade”? (I googled it and got lots of interesting recipes, but not the ingredients).

    Can you speak to the differences in flour in different countries? I had a student who claimed not to be able to make good crepes with American flour, so his mother sent him flour from France. Don’t know if that was the true or false French superiority. In Mexico my American friends tell me to buy Hoja de Plata flour because it’s better than regular Mexican flour. I really can’t tell the difference.

    By the way, I love your blog. Wish you would write a memoir about your experiences in different countries.

    • Hi Robert. Thank you. As far as flour for crepes is concerned, I’ve made good crepes in the U.S. with all purpose flour. The ingredients for the Farinade are wheat, corn, salt, whey powder, lactose, milk proteins, spices and condiments.

  2. Mad Dog says:

    Now you’ve made me want catfish – I used to eat lots of it in the States. I’m sure you got lots of encouragement from the champagne – the mullet looks great! I think you might find corn meal in a shop selling north African produce. That’s where I found it in Paris 😉

  3. Conor Bofin says:

    I have never eaten catfish. Your description is evocative.

  4. sebbyholmes says:

    Now this looks absolutely delicious. Red mullet is such a delicate fish and I love how well it takes on flavour. I’ve never tried deep-frying the whole thing. If it tastes as good as it looks then in. I’ll cook some up soon.

  5. Wow Rosemary, that red mullet looks absolutely delicious!! You set me wondering about yellow cornmeal now, would polenta be anthing like it? I can get masa harina just across the Spanish border, but that wouldn’t do for this recipe, would it?

    • Thank you Midi. No, neither polenta nor masa harina work. It’s the yellow cornmeal that they make cornbread with. You’d probably find this in a boutique in Paris that sells American products. And I just did a search and found one

      • Wonderful what can be found on the net these days!! I’ve often wondered whether cornbread would work with polenta but never tried. I’ve got some friends coming over from the Midwest next month, I can get them to bring some yellow cornmeal and then we’ll give your recipe a try!!

Leave a Reply