More than 100 species of mullet are found worldwide in estuaries and the open ocean. In the United States, particularly in Southeast regional cuisine, the striped mullet is the species of choice, prized as much for its roe as for its flesh. The red roe is a valuable export product for markets in Japan and Taiwan. Striped mullet are found from North Carolina to Texas. Florida accounts for most of the U.S. commercial harvest, which has been decimated by net bans. Despite its popularity in the Southeast, striped mullet remains fairly unknown in the rest of the country. Quality is dependent on freshness, so most mullet is consumed in the region where it’s landed. Don’t confuse striped mullet with the renowned red mullet, or rouget, of French cuisine; the red mullet (Mullus surmeletus) is a member of the goatfish family Mullidae, while the striped mullet is in the Mugilidae family.