I get goose bumps just thinking about bonito! Many fishermen believe that pound-for-pound, bonito is the strongest fighting fish in the ocean. On the other hand, I believe it's one of the best tasting fish in the ocean, too. Notwithstanding its lateral lines, the rest of the bonito fillets turn pure white when cooked. Plus its taste is unsurpassed. I love to bake bonito fillets, and so, here's my favorite, all time bonito recipe. Breaded, baked bonito fillets covered in homemade tomato sauce and topped with parmesan cheese. When you create this bonito recipe and give it a try, I know you'll come to agree with me.
Earlier, I mention they are strong fighting fish. I was reminded of that when my buddy Dave and I were hunting yellowtails late in the summer, only to ran into boiling bonito. Although they were hitting my jig stick equipped for yellowtails, their initial hits were definitely yellowtail like. However, I've got to say, bonito have a bad reputation for being bad tasting and their meat getting mushy. All that is true, but only when the bonito isn't properly bled right away. And, most importantly, bonito have got to be put on ice pronto! Otherwise they taste bad and the meat does get mushy!
So be prepare whenever bonito are around. Catch them, bleed them, and keep them on ice. When you get home, try this recipe. I promise you, this bonito recipe will turn you into a believer!
Bonito Baked, Breaded With Tomato Parmesan (serves 4)
4 lb bonito, filleted and cut into 3 inch strips (make sure you cut out the dark red meat from the fillets)
2 cups crushed tomatoes
½ onion chopped
3 cloves of garlic chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons oregano
½ cup red wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2-3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 cups all purpose flour
1-2 cups panko bread crumbs
Coarse black pepper
How To Make This Bonito Recipe
1. Begin by heating olive oil in a large sauce pot. Then start sauteing the onions over a medium heat. Don't forget to add a pinch of salt and pepper. Then after 2-3 minutes add the garlic, and continue to saute until both onions and garlic are translucent.
2. Next it's time to add the crushed tomatoes and cook over a high heat for 5 minutes while evaporating the extra liquid from the crushed tomatoes. Now add the oregano, tomato paste and red wine. Simmer over low heat for another 10-15 minutes.When done, the resulting tomato sauce should be very thick.
3. While your tomato sauce is cooking, begin to preheat the oven at 350F.
4. Now, start creating a breading station for the bonito strips. First, place 1.5-2 cups of flour in a plastic bag. And, in the bag, add a pinch of salt and pepper and shake. In a medium sized bowl crack 2 eggs and add 2-3 tablespoons of water and mix together. Finally, in a small shallow pan add the bread crumbs. Again, add a pinch of salt and pepper, then mix.
5. Dip the bonito strips into the bread, then the egg wash, and then into the bread crumbs. Place the breaded strips into a baking pan (or skillet) that has been greased. Bake in the oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until the breaded strips become golden brown.
6. Place the baked strips on a platter, then top off with the tomato sauce. Add the parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Get ready to enjoy the best bonito ever!
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