Recipe: Asian-style sticky mullet

It's all about the coconut glaze in this wood-fired fish dish by Cooks Co-op chef Marco Schmutz
Cath Muscat

In episode 20 (part 1) of Cooks Co-op, chef Marco Scmutz shows you how to prepare fresh mullet fillets with an Asian-inspired twist. In episode 20 (part 2), he shows you how to harness the high temperature of a wood-fired pizza oven to cook the dish in just several minutes. Here’s the recipe, with tips on how to adapt the method to cook this dish in your home oven.

Watch the episode: Two chefs, two delicious ways to prepare fresh fish 


Salad garnish



Preheat a wood fire oven to 350ºC. Place fillets, skin side down, on absorbent kitchen paper for 20 minutes prior to cooking, allowing fish to come to room temperature and to partly dry skin. Score skin widthways, every 1cm, using a sharp knife.


In a large roasting dish, place the cabbage and fillets. Gently coat fillets and cabbage with the melted sugar and a pinch of salt. Arrange cabbage in the middle of the dish to act as a base for the mullet to rest on, ensure that the skin side is facing up.


Wood-fire for 3-4 minutes or until just charred, crispy and cooked through. If using a domestic oven, cook in a hot oven 200C for about 10-12 minutes or until golden and cooked through


To make salad garnish, lightly mix shallot, ginger, mint and coriander in a bowl and set aside.


To make dressing: in a mortar & pestle, pound the chillies with the fried onions to form a rough paste. Add lime juice and mix well. Adjust the seasoning with fish sauce, only a little at a time making sure never to overpower the acidity of the lime juice. This dressing is mainly used to dress the salad garnish and the – not the fish, unless desired.


To assemble, transfer the wood-fired mullet and the cabbage to a serving dish. Lightly dress the salad garnish with some of the dressing and mix gently before placing atop the mullet. Drizzle cabbage with remaining dressing, if desired.

“Tip: To melt coconut sugar, place in a small saucepan over a medium-low heat and stir until melted and smooth. You can also add about 40ml of water to the saucepan and simmer until water content has evaporated.”

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