Trying to convince someone to branch out from their usual choice of salmon or tuna? I find that coating less popular fish in crispy breadcrumbs and frying till golden brown will typically do all of the convincing for you.

This breading technique can be carried out on any thin fillets of fish. For smaller fish like this mullet (800g fish) I like to butterfly the fish and leave the tail on. This is a technique where you fillet the fish, removing the spine but leaving the two fillets attached. This isn’t necessary but it makes for a nice presentation. Ask your fishmonger nicely to do this for you or follow along with a YouTube video.

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
Fresh fish in a perfectly crunchy layer of breadcrumbs, what's not to like?
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Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Servings 2 servings


  • 2 small fish, butterflied or filleted
  • 150 g All-purpose flour
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 200 g Panko breadcrumbs
  • 100 ml Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Finishing salt


  • Begin by setting up 3 separate trays or dishes. Fill one with a cm or so of flour, one that can hold your whisked eggs and the last one with your panko breadcrumbs. Lightly season each with a few pinches of fine salt.
  • Have a tray with a rack or some paper towels on it at the end of your assembly line for your fish to rest.
  • Check that all pin bones are removed from the fillets and lightly pat them dry with paper towels.
  • Using one hand only, hold the fish from it’s tail end and dredge it through the flour, ensuring that it is completely coated. If you have a butterflied fillet with the tail attached there's no need to dredge the tail in flour as we won’t be breading it. Shake off the excess flour before moving to the next step.
  • Using your other hand, drag the fish through the egg mixture until completely coated. Allow any excess to drip off for a few seconds. Place the fish in your tray of breadcrumbs.
  • Go back to using your first hand to cover the fish in breadcrumbs. Pat down until the fish is evenly covered. Shake off any excess and place on the tray lined with a rack. Repeat the process and all fish have been crumbed.
    Breaded fish to fry


  • Preheat your oven to 100C. Place a medium sized, non-stick pan over medium high heat and add 100ml of oil.
  • Once hot, lay the fish into the pan away from you(skin-side down if you left the skin on) and cook for 2 minutes or until well browned. Use your spatula to apply pressure to the top of the fish to ensure it makes constant contact with the pan.
  • Flip the fish over and repeat the process on the other side. Remove the fish from the oil and blot with a paper towel. Place onto a rack and into a 100C oven until you are ready cooking the rest of your fish.
  • Remove or strain off any stray breadcrumbs inside of the oil and repeat the cooking process until all of your fish is cooked.
  • Serve immediately with a sprinkling of finishing salt and a wedge of lemon or your favourite tartar sauce recipe. Pictured is a fat dollop of gray mullet brandade, the fishy mashed potato you never knew you needed on your plate!
    Panko Crusted and Fried Grey Mullet


When breading things, use one hand to coat the fish in the flour and breadcrumbs and the other hand to dredge in the egg mixture. Using both for everything will result in coating your fingers in a thick glove of breading.
Keyword Breaded, Crumbed, Fish, Panko

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