Smoked Mullet Dip Recipe

You are in the right place if you are looking for the best smoked mullet dip recipe.

The truth is that this recipe has become a staple for people who fall in love with this appetizer on their visits to Florida.

Well, you can still make this recipe for smoked fish dip with tuna, trout, or even salmon, whether you live in Florida or not.

Smoked Mullet Dip Recipe

You might also notice that this recipe has been a fan favorite for years and honors the Florida tradition of smoked fish dip, which is the unofficial appetizer of the Sunshine State.

The smoked fish dip is an old-school Florida tradition. South Florida was once dotted with smoked fish huts that existed primarily to smoke fish and sell fish dip if the rumors are true.

Remember that if you don’t have these types of smoked fish available (sailfish, mullet, and marlin), you can substitute other kinds of smoked fish that you can find at your local seafood shop.

You will often find the fish dip made with mullet, amberjack, kingfish, or even mahi mahi.

The oilier fish are excellent for smoking thanks to the fact that they don’t dry out, but the ones that are easiest to find are mostly mahi, that is, if you are buying versus catching for smoking.

Are Mullets Good to Eat?

In terms of health, it seems that seafood with low amounts of mercury and high concentrations of fat (omega-3 fatty acids) is the best to eat.

Keep in mind that those with plenty of accumulated mercury and PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) are the worst and are on the “do not eat” list published by the Florida Department of Health.

That list includes bluefish, king mackerel, and jacks, and this is to name a few.

On the other hand, seafood such as scallops, sardines, Spanish mackerel, shrimp, flounder, and mullet are low in mercury and good for consumption.

Mullets were considered “bait” on the east coast and “Sunday dinner” on the west during the days when there were two distinct groups of Floridians.

Well, now that Florida’s population is increasing at the rate of a thousand persons per day and has homogenized, the east-west divides have diminished.

In the world today, folks in all parts of the state are enjoying this oily fish, fried or smoked, regularly.

It is also quite essential to realize that while mullet can be found in both salt and freshwater environments, those obtained from freshwater do come with a muddy taste, and this is an argument that is professed most times by the “mullet are bait” crowd.

Two distinct species, silver and black (striped), predominate in Florida.

The thing is, both taste great, but as I’ve always said, it is crucial to ask your fishmonger or restaurant server about the origin of their mullet. Plus, make sure you look for clear eyes and a fresh ocean smell.

How to Prepare Mullets

Cleaning the fish has always been the first step when it comes to preparing a successful and delicious mullet dinner.

I perfect the scaling of the fish that will be fried and left the scales on the fish that is to be smoked.

After that, proceed to salt the resulting fillets and refrigerate, covered, overnight.

Well, this brining is important and will make a big difference at the table.

How to Smoke Fish Correctly to Make Smoked Fish Dip Recipe

  • You are to use a dry brine, which should be a mixture of one part brown sugar and one part kosher salt, and then apply it to your fish filets. Make sure you hit all sides of the exposed fish. Cover, and allow the dry brine to do its work for an hour.
  • Now, rinse the brine off. Place the fish on a plate and pat it dry with a paper towel. Ensure that there’s no moisture on the plate or the fish filets.
  • Allow the fish to dry out overnight in the refrigerator, and make sure this is done uncovered so that they form a pellicle.

You might ask what a pellicle is. The pellicle is a coating of proteins that the fish gets by airing out so that the smoke will adhere to it during the smoking process. Your smoked fish will have the texture of grilled fish without the pellicle, so this part is essential.

Now, smoke the fish at 225 degrees until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees. Keep in mind that this will take a few hours. In addition, you can coat it with a layer of bourbon or maple as you go along to add extra flavor. This is just perfect if you just want to eat the fish itself. Well, your fish is now ready to be made.

Recipe for Smoked Mullet Dip

Cuisine: American


  • 1 pound of smoked mullet (either smoke or buy at a seafood market, but call ahead first given that not every market has smoked mullet).
  • 1 package of saltine crackers
  • ½ cup of mayonnaise
  • ¼ teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning (optional), to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of capers
  • ¼ cup of roughly chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 medium stalk of celery, diced finely
  • 4 scallions, finely chopped; cut off the green end and use the white root end.

Laid-Out Instructions

  • First, you are to de-bone the mullet and toss the skeleton or bones carefully, or you can also use it as a soup base. After that, pull off the mullet meat in small pieces, shredding the mullet.
  • That being done, get a medium-sized bowl and place the mullet meat in it, then add all the ingredients—celery, capers, lemon juice, scallions, parsley, and also Old Bay seasoning. Also, add the mayonnaise to determine the right consistency. Allow it to stand for two hours at a minimum before serving.
  • When that is done, brine the mullet and smoke with seasoning; however, add ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper if the dip requires more flavor.

How to Serve Smoked Fish Dip

This smoky spread can always be spooned onto endive leaves, and you also have the option of serving it with pita chips, crackers, crudité, or baguette slices.

For a refreshing and nutritious appetizer, you can just serve it chilled and also save leftovers to spread onto sliced baguettes, bagels, or toast the next day.

Storing Smoked Fish Dip

To store this dish, just make and store the dip in a tightly sealed container and place it in the refrigerator. This will make it last for up to five days.

The flavors will meld nicely when made and refrigerated overnight, even though they are best when served fresh.

What Type of Fish Is Whitefish?

Whitefish is a term used for fish with white, flaky flesh and a mild, light flavor.

The types of fish can differ and include mullet, halibut, cod, haddock, kingfish, and pollock.

Primarily, smoked whitefish dishes are made with Lake Whitefish, which is a variety of fish native to the Great Lakes in North America.

The Jewish immigrants found an abundance of fish in the Great Lakes when they settled in the U.S. in the late 1800s. They started smoking the fish as a way to preserve it.

Final Thoughts

The fish comes with white flesh that is rich and nutty with a high oil content. Mullet is caught by net, and even though some consider it only “bait fish,” others see it as a “trash fish.”

It is extremely well-known with locals, and local chefs are catching on, some heralding its attributes through new creative recipes.

Mullet is cooked in a variety of ways: fried, broiled, pan-fried, smoked, or baked.

Mullet dip recipes are passed down through the generations and are cherished secrets.

This brings us to the end of this guide, as you now have the best smoked mullet dip recipe.

Smoked Mullet Dip Recipe

Smoked Mullet Dip Recipe

You are in the right place if you are looking for the best smoked mullet dip recipe.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Servings 4 servings


  • 1 pound of smoked mullet smoke it yourself or purchase from a seafood market; it’s wise to call ahead as not all markets may have smoked mullet
  • 1 package of saltine crackers
  • ½ cup of mayonnaise
  • Optional: ¼ teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning adjust to taste
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of capers
  • ¼ cup of roughly chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 medium stalk of celery finely diced
  • 4 scallions finely chopped (discard the green end and use only the white root end)


  • Begin by carefully removing the bones from the mullet. You can discard them or save them for making a soup base.
  • Next, shred the mullet meat into small pieces. Place the shredded meat in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Add all the remaining ingredients to the bowl: diced celery, capers, lemon juice, chopped scallions, parsley, and optionally, Old Bay seasoning. Adjust the consistency by adding mayonnaise to your preference.
  • Allow the mixture to sit for a minimum of two hours before serving to allow the flavors to meld.
  • If desired, enhance the flavor of the mullet by brining it and smoking it with seasoning. Consider adding ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper to the dip if it requires additional seasoning.
Keyword Mullet Dip Recipe, Smoked Mullet Dip, Smoked Mullet Dip Recipe

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