• Paper-baked mullet (Rouget en papillote) (SBS Food)Source: SBS Food

Jacques recommends buying whole fish, then gently scaling, trimming and gutting them at home. Food Safari Water






Skill level

Average: 4 (3 votes)


  • 4 red mullet, about 180 g– 200 g each
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tomato, finely sliced
  • 1 zucchini, finely sliced
  • 6 black olives, pitted and cut into cheeks
  • 1 small bulb fennel with fronds
  • 4 slices orange
  • ½ bunch basil, leaves picked
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 150 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • juice of 1 lemon

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a large baking tray with foil. Rinse the prepared fish gently in cold water.

Fold a 40 cm x 80 cm sheet of baking paper in half and place on the lined baking tray. Place the fish side by side in the centre of one half. Scatter over the tomato, zucchini and olives.

Peel the outer layer of the fennel bulb and finely slice on a mandolin, reserving the fronds.
Add the fennel to the fish along with a handful of the fronds, orange slices and half the basil. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.

Paint the edges of baking paper with egg white and sprinkle very lightly with the flour. This creates a good seal to help steam the fish. Fold the baking paper in half to close and seal with wooden pegs or crimp the edges by folding and rolling the paper over to form a perfect seal all the way around.

Bake for 12 minutes – the fish should reach 70°C. Open the papillote and remove the cooked basil and fennel fronds. Tear over the remaining basil and squeeze over the lemon to serve.


Maeve O'Meara is back in Food Safari Water starting 8pm, Wednesday 1 August on SBS and then you can catch-up on all episodes via SBS On Demand. Visit the program page for recipes, videos and more.