The Maltese fishing industry is quite active from year-to-year with the tuna fishing season. It is a lucrative catch as a lot of the prized blue fin tuna is exported at a premium to Japan for sushi.
Since sourcing is so close from sea to shore here in Malta, there is no better way than consuming tuna fresh from sea to table. Acid-cured in a tuna tartare or ceviche is quite popular. While you can’t go wrong with a tuna steak flash-seared in a pan with some white wine, garlic and our lovely briny capers.
Careful when you order raw fish
We are a bit sceptic of fresh cured fish dishes like tartare and ceviche on restaurant menus. You don’t really know how fresh the fish is and in what conditions it has been kept in refrigeration. If it was a dinner party where the fish was the catch of the day for all to enjoy, then nothing to worry about. Therefore only go for such dishes if you trust the restaurant you are in. Especially if they specialise in daily fresh fish.
Ever heard of Mojama?
In Spain we discovered Mojama which is salt-cured tuna which is then air-dried, traditionally by the breeze of the sea. It is a popular tapas dish in Madrid complimented with good quality olive oil and chopped tomatoes. We wanted to make something similar but since we don’t have air-drying facilities we decided to adapt to something similar to making bresaola.
At Maldonado Bistro we made our own trial at curing the local in-season tuna. Apart from salt-curing the fish, we decided to improvise and marinate it in a sweet liqueur wine similar to a Port wine. This helped the tuna to retain its dark and vivid ruby red colour.
Then we coated the tuna with freshly crushed peppercorns before wrapping it up to dry-age in our fridge. It came out quite nice and helps extend the life of the tuna fish fillet. We plan to use it for an interesting dish which we will share on this blog in due time.
If you have the space in your fridge, you can easily make this recipe at home. It doesn’t take much time. A little bit more attention is needed. Therefore get a piece of tuna from your nearby fishmonger while stocks last and go for it.
- Spice Grinder
- Small container with lid
- Muslin Cloth
- Butcher's String
- Stainless Steel S-Hook
- 500 grams Fresh Tuna
- 100 grams Sea Salt
- 1 tsp Juniper Berries
- 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
- 750 cl Galley's Liqueur Wine
- 2 tbsp Black Peppercorns
- 2 tbsp Green Peppercorns
- Dredge the tuna in the sea salt and crushed juniper berries and fennel seeds. Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.
- The next day marinate the tuna with the liqueur wine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 week.
- After the marination, remove the tuna and pat dry with tissue paper.
- Cover all sides with the ground black and green pepper.
- Tightly wrap up the tuna with muslin cloth. Then tie it up with in 2 cm intervals with butcher's string.
- Hang in your fridge for the next 2 weeks. It is important that nothing makes contact with the tuna hanging in the fridge.
- When the time has past unwrap from the string and muslin cloth. Wrap with cling film and refrigerate until needed to serve. When serving slice thinly.