Salted fish poached in milk? Folded into mashed potatoes? Don’t close the page just yet! Brandade is a French recipe that’s incredibly delicious. I made this version with grey mullet that I cured myself but it can be made with a variety of cured fish or salt cod.

In one of the kitchens I previously worked in, we would portion cod fillets and we would cure all of the imperfect tail pieces and trimmings that were leftover. We would turn this into a beautiful brandade to serve underneath a perfectly cooked cod fillet. The pairing was incredible. I used this as a side with my crumbed mullet recipe and it’s not easy for me to admit but I’d pick this over fish and chips anyday. Having said that, you can make brandade and spoon it into a small roasting dish or ramekin and broil in your oven for a crunchy topping and a dish in its own right. Alternatively use less milk when finishing the brandade, chill lightly and form into fish cakes by breading with flour, egg and breadcrumbs.

If using something well preserved like salt cod, be sure to soak it sufficiently to leech off the excess salt and rehydrate it.

This recipe was produced as part of a collaboration series with Fish For Tomorrow . In these articles we’d like to showcase the great potential that some of the less popular, more sustainable choices of seafood have to offer. We chose grey mullet for our first set of articles because it has a pretty bad reputation locally. To find out why this is unfounded, check out FFT’s companion article here.

Before we jump into the recipe I’d also like to thank Bottarga fish shop for helping me track down the fish for this project as well as the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture for providing the fish for these recipes and articles.

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Stephen La Rosa
Salted fish poached in milk? Folded into mashed potatoes? Don’t close the page just yet! Brandade is a French recipe that’s incredibly delicious.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine French
Servings 4 servings


  • 750 g potatoes
  • 300 g citrus-cured grey mullet
  • 500 ml Milk
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 8 sprigs dill
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • salt


  • Begin by scrubbing your potatoes and placing them in an oven set to 200C. Bake on a rack for 45 minutes or until completely tender and cooked through.
  • Pierce with a knife until the tip reaches the centre. If the knife goes in easily and the tip of the knife comes out warm, you’re good to go. If there is resistance then cook for 15 more minutes.
  • While these are cooking, place the milk, garlic and thyme in a small pot over medium high heat. Don’t take your eyes off the pot for more than a few seconds at a time, milk loves to boil over.
  • Cut each cured fish fillet into 2 pieces if it doesn’t fit easily in the pot.
  • Once the milk comes up to a simmer, add the cured fish and stir. Turn off the heat and allow the fish to poach for 8 minutes or until the fish is flakey and tender.
  • Remove the pot from the stove and strain out the milk into a mixing bowl. Reserve the milk to adjust the consistency of the brandade later
  • Remove the skin from the fish and allow the fish to cool while you finish the potatoes.
  • Once the potatoes are cooked, cut them in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Place the flesh into a mixing bowl and reserve the skins for other uses (back into the oven with some oil and salt until crispy for potato skins)
  • Using a potato masher or fork, crush the potatoes well.
  • Place the cooked fish into the bottom of a clean pot and top with 100ml or so of the fish milk.
  • Break up the fish into smaller flakes with a spoon or spatula. Add the mashed potato to the pot and stir to combine. Bring the pot up to medium heat.
  • Add milk as necessary until the mixture comes together and takes on the consistency of your ideal mashed potatoes. Once everything is warmed through and combined, taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
  • To finish, add plenty of chopped dill and the zest from half of a lemon and a tablespoon or so of juice, adjusted to your tastes. Adjust the salt one last time and serve nice and hot. Alternatively, spoon into a baking dish and grill in the oven until the top is browned and crunchy to enjoy as a meal.
Keyword Dairy, Dill, Fish, Lemon, Potato

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