Friday, July 17, 2009

Smoked Mullet

smoked mullet

Only mad men and Floridians eat mullet, or so I'm told.

Most people consider mullet a trash fish; it's bony and a bottom dweller, so most don't even bother with it, or use it for bait while catching crab. That's alright. We Floridians know what to do with it. More mullet for me!

I admit I never had smoked mullet until I met my future husband. Our first date, actually, was me going to his house while he smoked some mullet. Once I got over the heebee jeebees of having to drive through miles of dirt roads to get to his house, all the while hearing banjo music in my head, I was able to enjoy it - quite thoroughly, too, I might add.

I don't smoke it too often because well, it's a pain to pull out the grill, remember to get the charcoal, soak the wood, brine the fish, etc etc, and by the time you go through all that - well you might as well just pay someone at a local restaurant to make you some.

But it occured to me that some of you might not have a local restaurant you could just go to and get some smoked mullet, so I thought I'd show you how.

First stop - the fish monger. I bought two mullets - rather on the small-ish side, for $2.50/lb. It ended up being - oh about $5 for the both of them. Let them fillet it. It's messy and you really don't want to ruin your appetite before you eat now, do you?

Next - brine your mullet. I forgot to snap a pic of this so you're just gonna have to use your imagination! Get a gallon freezer bag, fill it about half full with water, add salt and seasonings. How much salt? Ummm I dunno - couple of tablespoons, maybe. Seal and stick in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.

While that's brining, get your grill going.

I actually do have a smoker, which is ancient - but it doesn't have to look pretty to work well. Get your brickets going, and when they're good and caught - add your wet wood.


You can use wood chips bought in the store of course, but I prefer to use what's free - which happened to be fallen limbs from my oak tree, wet from rains and soaked for a few hours in the kitchen sink.

You can also use hickory or apple wood. If the wood is green you won't have to soak it, just add it on top of the fire.

DO try to avoid wood that has poison ivy growing on it. You laugh, but I've heard of it done before. Needless to say - this is not a good thing. If you don't know what poison ivy looks like, well buy your chips at the grocery store. It's cheaper than a trip to the E.R.

Next - spray the grill part with some PAM or brush it with oil, and add your brined mullet, SCALE SIDE DOWN. Sprinkle with paprika and brush with oil.


It should be about 6 - 8 inches from the fire. Cover, and let smoke!

We're smokin now, baby!

After 15 minutes or so, go back in, take your spatula and move them a bit, so they don't stick to the grill. Check them about every 15 - 30 minutes until it's golden on top and flaky. These only took about an hour; your mileage may vary, depending on your grill.


Now - this is how you EAT smoked mullet.

You eat it with your fingers, so go wash your hands! And you eat it with homemade tartar sauce and sliced onion.

Homemade tartar sauce = mayo, and pickle relish.

Scoop out some meat, dip it in the tartar sauce, stick it in your mouth - and take a bite of onion. Mmm! Good eat'n.

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