Red Mullet: Properties, Benefits, and Uses in Cooking

You mustn't miss the opportunity to include red mullet in your diet; a fish that has several health benefits. It's also part of haute cuisine.
Red Mullet: Properties, Benefits, and Uses in Cooking
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Written and verified by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 12 October, 2022

Red mullet is a semi-fatty fish that can be included in the diet on a regular basis. It can be found practically all year round in fishmongers and has excellent organoleptic characteristics. There are many different ways to prepare it to get the most out of it.

Including fish in your diet is recommended when the objective is to maintain a good state of health. These foods contain essential nutrients and have a lower energy density than meat. For this reason, they can be part of a hypocaloric diet with the aim of losing weight.

Nutritional properties of red mullet

Every 100 grams (4 oz) of red mullet contains 3.5 grams of fat and only 90 calories. The protein content is significant, and they’re proteins of high biological value.

They contain all the essential amino acids and have a good digestibility score. These are important to prevent problems related to lean mass.

Likewise, this fish is a source of important minerals, such as magnesium, iodine, and potassium. It’s also a source of B vitamins. These are important to ensure that your energy metabolism functions properly and that calories from fats, proteins, and carbohydrates are used well.

Some fish.
Fish should be part of your diet due to their combination of protein and some healthy fats.

Red mullet benefits

When we talk about benefits, we must highlight that eating red mullet is ideal for covering your daily protein requirements. Thanks to this, chronic pathologies that affect muscle mass, such as sarcopenia, can be prevented.

Moreover, it can be included without problems in a hypocaloric diet. Proteins have been shown to produce a satiating effect, so it will help to control appetite and improve adherence.

It doesn’t contain many calories, however, it shouldn’t be accompanied by sauces.

We mustn’t forget that some of the B vitamins are essential to ensure your bodily processes are carried out efficiently. Vitamin B12 is especially important, as deficit affects the transport of oxygen through the blood.

How to prepare red mullet?

Red mullet is a fish with many bones, so it could be problematic for the youngest members of the household. In this case, it could be shredded to use as an ingredient in other recipes.

Even so, there are still many ways to cook it whole to get the most out of it. One example is baked with lemon. A great aromatic touch will be achieved if herbs such as tarragon are also used.

There’s also the option of adding other seasonings, such as saffron, mint, or sauces such as ajoblanco (a Spanish garlic-based sauce). This fish is best roasted, but it can be prepared in stews or soups. It isn’t so common to eat it grilled or fried.

A very popular recipe is red mullet with truffles. It’s rather expensive to prepare, but it’s highly appreciated by lovers of haute cuisine. The truffles provide a counterpoint in flavor that matches the texture of the fish.

Some truffles.
Truffles with mullet are a typical dish in world haute cuisine.

Mullet: a fish with many benefits

The inclusion of mullet in the diet is very positive for our health. It’s a fish with high-quality proteins, which isn’t too high in calories. Attention should be paid to its preparation. If a lot of sauces or seasonings are used, the calorie level could rise.

It’s advisable to alternate the intake of fatty, semi-fatty, and white fish. Each one has a number of specific positive effects. But the key is variety.

Generally speaking, the fatty acids present in seafood are of very high quality. The proportion of omega-3 is high, which will help control internal inflammation.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Martone AM, Marzetti E, Calvani R, et al. Exercise and Protein Intake: A Synergistic Approach against Sarcopenia. Biomed Res Int. 2017;2017:2672435. doi:10.1155/2017/2672435
  • Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Lemmens SG, Westerterp KR. Dietary protein – its role in satiety, energetics, weight loss and health. Br J Nutr. 2012;108 Suppl 2:S105-S112. doi:10.1017/S0007114512002589
  • Dietzfelbinger H, Hubmann M. Hämolytische Anämien und Vitamin-B12-Mangel [Hemolytic anemias and vitamin B12 deficieny]. Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 2015;140(17):1302-1312. doi:10.1055/s-0041-103562

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.