Yelloweye mullet are an abundant species found right around subtropical and temperate Australia in coastal lakes, estuaries and beaches. Once a seafood staple, they have fallen somewhat out of fashion as Australian seafood tastes have become more narrow making yelloweye mullet highly affordable. As fishers are increasingly realising the value of treating the catch well, seafood eaters benefit as fresh yelloweye mullet that has been caught and stored with care has a wonderful flavour that suits bolder contemporary treatment in the kitchen.
They are caught in nets that are hauled onto small boats or beaches, in a manner that is highly targeted and allows the healthy release of unwanted catch. They are also caught in small gillnets that are typically attended by the fisher at all times, reducing the risk to wildlife. These fishing methods pose little risk of disturbance of sensitive seafloor habitats.
Smoked Yelloweye mullet and potato fritters
By Trevor Perkins
- 5lt water
- 100g salt
- 50g brown sugar
- Sage, rosemary, thyme, dill, mountain pepper berry
- 2 Yelloweye mullet whole
- Wood chips or orchard vines (if you have them)
- 6 king Edward potato (peeled boiled and mashed)
- Finger lime
- Good quality aioli or mayonnaise
- 1 onion finely diced
- 1 egg yolk
- Rosemary, chives & parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 100ml olive oil
- 2 clove garlic
- 100g masa flour
- 100g self-rising flour
- 100g plain flour
- Soda water
- 1tsp Paprika
- Oil for frying
- Make Brine by boiling water, sugar and salt, adding herbs and pepper and allowing to cool in the fridge.
- Scale, gut and clean mullet then brine for minimum 12 but up to 24hrs.
- Dry the fish off, before hot smoking at 150c for 25min with wood chips or vine pruning (if you are lucky to have access to them). Otherwise, roast in the oven.
- Remove from the smoker or oven, allow to cool for a couple of minutes before carefully picking the flesh away from bones. Be careful to remove all the small pin bones.
- In a new pan, sweat onion in olive oil over low heat until translucent, add garlic and herbs until fragrant. Add mullet and cook for a further minute until well combined. Reserve.
- Boil peeled king Edward potato’s in salted water with 1 smashed garlic clove, 1 bay leaf and rosemary until fully cooked, then strain and mash the potato either with a potato ricer, or drum sieve while warm.
- Mix together the mullet mix and mashed potato and combine with 1 egg yolk. Season to taste. Place this mix in the fridge until cool.
- Meanwhile, prepare the the batter by mixing together the masa flour, self-rising flour and plain flour with the paprika then slowly adding sparkling water until it becomes a a smooth consistency like thick melted ice cream.
- Take the cooled mullet mix and shape into balls about the size 1 large teaspoon, dust them in plain flour, dip into the batter and fry in deep fryer or pot of oil at 180c for 1min until brown and crispy.
- Remove the fritters from the oil, and dry on paper towel, season with sea salt .
- Serve with finger lime and great mayonnaise or aioli.