Mullet has always been one of my favorite fish and livorno mullet (a simple and tasty Tuscan recipe) are, along with the fried mullet, one of the dishes where the rosy and firm meat of these little goldfish stands out better. Personally, though, in front of a plate of MIXED FRYING, with mullet, anchovies, calamari, i can't resist. Especially if the fish is breaded in durum wheat semola, that gives life to a crispy and dry fry. Be careful though, because on the market you will find two types of mullet: the mullet of rock (Surmuletus mullus) and the mud mullet (Barbatus mullus).
Mullet and mud: Differences
Rock mullet has firmer meats, a less bright color, are brown red with two golden yellow bands on the sides and dorsal fin and are much tastier. For this reason, the recipe of livorno mullet is perfect to enhance its taste. Mud mullet is bright red and have no yellow bands on the sides: are less tasty and, in my opinion, breaded in a little semola and fried give the best of themselves. Between the two varieties there is also a price difference: rock mullet are rarer and therefore more expensive.
If you love mullet, besides the fried ones, I advise you to try even the SPAGHETTI WITH BEANS, MULLET AND CLAMS, or the MULLET WITH LENTILS AND AVOCADO, creative starter or full single course. And now I wish you good day!
two cloves of garlic
fresh parsley, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
extra virgin olive oil, to taste
fresh tomatoes if in season or peeled
The preparation of mullet for Livorno is simple and fast. If you have purchased already clean mullet, you just have to wash and dry them carefully. If you have purchased whole mullet, you need to clean them: first eliminate the scales by passing a knife on both sides of the mullet, from the tail to the head. Once the scales have been removed, cut the belly of the fish and remove the entrails. If you want, you can also cut the dorsal and lateral fins. Wash the mullet under running water and dry them carefully.
If you use peeled tomatoes you just have to break them by hand, eliminating some of the vegetation water. If you use fresh tomatoes, engrave them on the cross, blanch them for a few seconds and peel them, cut them in half and then in fillets, eliminating even in this case some of the vegetation water.
Brown in a low pan and wide the crushed garlic and parsley stems. When garlic is golden, remove it and remove the stems as well. Add the peeled tomatoes and half the chopped parsley. Add a little salt and pepper and cook for 7-10 minutes. Join the mullet, without overlapping them with the other, salt the fish slightly, cover it with a little tomato sauce helping you with a spoon.
Cook the covered mullet for 5-8 minutes, without moving them: the mullet are extremely delicate. A short cooking is enough to perfectly cook their rosy and compact meat. When livorno mullet are ready, sprinkle with a little more chopped parsley and serve immediately. I suggest you accompany them with toasted with extra virgin olive oil and seasoned with a pinch of salt. Bon appétit!