Bonito belly with garlic

Bonito belly with garlic

At the table

By
From
Basque
Serves
4
Photographer
Laura Edwards

There’s no such thing as getting to a fish market too early – you get the pick of the produce, and of course the exciting buzz of the catch coming in.

I arrived at Hondarribia at 5 am once, and there waiting for me was something extremely special – one of the big fishing boats had brought in 15 tonnes of bonito.

Bonito is similar to tuna but smaller, and the meat is much paler. It’s so tasty though, and really sustainable too, so if you have the chance, do buy it.

If you have a local fishmonger, ask for bonito belly. If you can’t get it, then mackerel is a great alternative, just ask the fishmonger to butterfly it for you.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 whole belly of bonito tuna
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
100ml olive oil, plus extra for rubbing
3 garlic cloves, sliced
1 whole dried guindilla chilli, (or other dried chilli)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
finely chopped parsley, to serve

Method

  1. Season the tuna belly and rub with a little oil. Heat a large heavybased pan or chargrill pan over a high heat and sear the tuna for a couple of minutes on each side until just cooked but still a bit pink. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan, add the garlic and whole chilli and fry gently until just golden. Add the red wine vinegar and bubble together, then add the parsley.
  3. Pour the garlic oil over the tuna and serve immediately with sautéed potatoes.
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