There are many members of the Mugiladae family, including goatfish and red mullets. Many of the 55 species are beautifully marked and brightly coloured. Caught in warm-temperate and tropical seas in the Indo-Pacific, Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans, they are sometimes found in brackish waters. They all have thick scales, forked caudal fins and a distinct pair of chin barbells, used for detecting food and, in the case of males, attracting a female during courtship. Most are sold at around 15–20cm (6–8in), although many reach around 30cm (12in) in length. The liver of a red mullet is considered fine eating and should be left intact. The fish needs to be trimmed and scaled prior to cooking (avoid removing the liver).

Indian goatfish (Mullus indicus)

Indian goatfish is popular in Oman and East and South Africa, where it is landed. Its firm, white flesh is slightly earthier in flavour than its close relative the red mullet.

CUTS Whole (gutted and scaled, with liver intact); fillets.

goatfish  Cooked: Try these fish pan-fried or grilled.

CLASSIC RECIPES Provençal fish soup with rouille; fritura malagueña (Andalusian fried fish); rougets à la provençale


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