Can You Eat Mullet? Our Guide to Preparing Mullet for Eating

Can you eat mullet? With our detailed guide, you will learn about preparing mullet for eating to celebrate your day’s catch. Along with the guide, you will learn a great deal from the frequently asked questions we have provided an answer for.

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Can You Eat Grey Mullet?

Yes, you can eat grey mullet. The adult grey mullets in freshwater eat algae, so they are very clean and considered vegetarian. However, they also stay and swim along the seabed and eat dead plants and animals. Just like the shrimp, they are also known for their cleaning capabilities because as they traverse in the seabed to feed, they also collect the sediments and other microorganisms in their consumption. Grey mullets also have the moniker “rats of the sea.”

Is Grey Mullet Healthy?

Yes, grey mullets are healthy and safe to eat. It is considered an exciting addition to your diet because of its health benefits.

Here are the main health benefits that you could get from eating a grey mullet:

Grey Mullet is full of micronutrients that are essential to our bodies.

Here are the six micronutrients that can be sourced from a grey mullet.

  • Iodine– Iodine is a mineral that is helpful in the generation or production of thyroid hormones.
  • Selenium– Selenium is a mineral with antioxidant properties that are important in preventing cell damage and boosting the immune system.
  • Omega 3 EPA/DHA– These fatty acids are suitable for the heart and brain. It is also linked to the development and improvement of cognitive function of people with Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Phosphorus– The main benefit of Phosphorus is the formation of bones and teeth.
  • Niacin (B3) – Niacin or Vitamin B3 is an essential nutrient that aids in reducing cholesterol and improving brain function. 
  • Vitamin B6– Vitamin B6 contributes to the defense of our immune system and helps our body to convert and store energy.

The nutrients found in a grey mullet also promote good hair and skin.

Mullets have protein content that helps in cell regeneration.

Is Mullet Fish Farmed?

Many countries have practiced the farming of mullet for over centuries. Farming ponds are rampant in Southeast Asia, Mediterranean Region, East Asia, and Hawaii. Unlike other wild-caught fish with a strong fishy taste, a farmed mullet has a distinct and mild taste making it great as an aquaculture species.

What Does a Mullet Fish Look Like?

Their two dorsal fins distinguish mullets. The first of which has five spines while the second has eight rays. They also have a small head and smallmouth that are shaped like a triangle. Mullets could reach up to 2.5 feet and could weigh as much as three pounds.

True to its name, a striped mullet (Mugil cephalus) has unique horizontal black stripes on its sides. It has bluish-gray with a hint of green on its back, while its sides have tinges of sliver. Striped mullets could have a maximum length of 3 feet and could weigh up to 12 pounds. 

The white mullet (M. curema), also known as silver mullet, has the same colors as a striped mullet, except that it doesn’t have any horizontal stripes. Instead, it has dark blotches near the pectoral fins.

The fantastic mullet (M. gyrans) also have black blotches in their pectoral fins like a white mullet. However, its body has green with bluish hues with a hint of silver and white on the sides. Its fins also have shades of yellow.

How Do You Smoke a Butterfly Mullet?

Mullets have long been part of many menus in Florida, whether it’s fried, roasted, or smoked. No matter how you cook it, a smoked mullet has been a traditional and appropriate dish in Florida.

Here is how you smoke a butterfly mullet following the traditional process:

Step 1: Salt the mullet generously and set it aside for about an hour or until it forms a pellicle, a thin layer of skin or coating that allows the smoke to cling onto the meat during the smoking process.

Step 2: While waiting for the mullet to dry, prepare the oak wood or citrus wood for your grill or smoker and get them to at least 200 degrees.

Step 3: Place the mullet skin down in the grill and wait for it to cool for at least an hour. This is where you can add paprika, black pepper, or granulated garlic.

Although mullets are generally oily, some people like to brush them with a little bit of butter or extra oil while it cooks.

In Southern Florida, people like to add or brush their mullets with a sauce made up of hot sauce and yellow mustard while it cooks to add flavor.

Step 4: Once done, cool it down and squeeze half a lemon into the mullet for an additional kick.

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Is Mullet High in Mercury?

No, mullets are considered low-mercury fish by Consumer Reports, a non-profit organization committed to fighting for a fair consumer-driven marketplace. Despite its low mercury levels, children and pregnant women are advised to consume no more than 12 ounces per week to avoid accumulation or gradual build-ups of mercury.

What Size Mullet Can You Keep?

Since striped and silver mullets are considered local species, the minimum size limit for a mullet is 11 inches or up to three pounds. In North Carolina, only 200 catch of mullet per day is allowed.

How Do You Clean a Mullet?

Some people find cleaning and scaling a fish intimidating and complicated. However, if you know the essential parts of the fish, cleaning a fish is one of the kitchen’s greatest must-have skills.

Here are the steps you can follow in cleaning a mullet or any fish:

Step 1: Wash the fish in running water and lay it down on your chopping or cutting board to be gutted.

Step 2: Slit the belly open and slowly remove the guts. You can use a spoon or knife to scrape the courage to preserve their shape and form carefully.

Step 3: Wash and rinse the fish again in running water to remove any excess guts or blood.

Step 4: To remove the gills, fan out its flap and cut it using harp kitchen shears or any sharp knife would do.

Step 5: Slowly remove the gills and rinse the fish again in running water.

Step 6: Next step is to scale the fish. You can use a fish scaler to make the process easier. You can also use your knife’s back and make short, firm strokes from the tail to the head.

Step 7: Rewash the fish in running water to remove the remaining loose scales.

Step 8: You have the option to cook the fish as is or trim its fins and tail. If you want to trim your fish, use a sharp kitchen knife and cut its fins and tails near the base. Once done, rinse it again in running water.

What Does Sea Mullet Taste Like?

Sea mullets have softer flesh and have high natural oil content. It has a mild and delicious flavor that could vary from different species and seasons. During migration season leading to spawning season, mullets have increased levels of oil content. Deep skinning, gutting, and cleaning the mullet can also produce a lighter flavor. To prevent the mullet flesh from spoiling rapidly, it is better to be cooked immediately after the catch. You can also balance its taste by adding tomatoes, olives, balsamic vinegar, lemon, and currants.

Are Mullets Freshwater or Saltwater?

Mullets can live in fresh water and saltwater. For most of their lives, mullets inhabit freshwater or estuaries. They move around frequently in rivers, springs, estuaries, marshes, creeks, and the open sea because of their salinity tolerance. However, adult mullets migrate to saltwater during the spawning season.

Can You Eat Freshwater Mullet?

Yes, you can eat a freshwater mullet. They have a solid and distinct muddy taste which can be reduced by cleaning, skinning, and removing their gills and guts.

Roe from a fresh mullet, specifically the grey mullets, is considered an expensive delicacy worldwide. Known as bottarga, mullet roes are salted, massaged, pressed, and dried to bring out their savory flavors.

Is Mullet Healthy to Eat?

Yes, mullets are healthy to eat. It has high Omega 3, which is a known nutrient that is good for the heart. It also has micronutrients like Iodine, Phosphorus, Selenium, Vitamin B3, and Vitamin B6. Like any other food, mullet consumption must also be taken in moderation. You have to make sure it is caught in clean waters to avoid contamination.

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Can You Eat Mullet Article Conclusion

Yes, you can, and mullet is a popular fish to consume. Our guide will have covered all you needed to know in preparing mullet for eating. This can be a great way to celebrate your daily fishing success.

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