How to bonito
August 13, 2015 7:25 PM   Subscribe

My SO came home from a fishing trip with a bunch of bonito. Know any good recipes?
posted by kamikazegopher to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's pretty oily. If you haven't cut out the bloodline yet, go ahead and do that. It might help the flavor. I'd soak in buttermilk overnight and then cut into chunks and batter/ deep fry.

Won't be anywhere near the best fish you ever had but will be edible. Probably the best you can expect from bonito.

Honestly, they'll make better bait than dinner if your SO fishes often, especially offshore. Leave skin on and filet. Cut into strips and cure in kosher salt (change salt everyday or two). Makes a great addition to jigs and lures offshore. If your SO is into shark fishing from the beach, half or whole bonito will work pretty well, depending on where you are in the country.
posted by paulcole at 10:09 PM on August 13, 2015

Good fresh Pacific Bonito are delicious and can be cooked the same way you'd cook most other fish. I like the flavor of fish and prefer it nor overwhelmed by spices, sauces or seasonings. Bonita grilled or fried simply – without battering would be my first choices. It doesn’t work as well for the common battered and deep fried rockfish or other white fleshed fish. Care on the boat and in cleaning can make a lot of difference in the flavor of fish, especially members of the tuna/mackerel family like Bonita. The fish should be iced quickly after being caught and cleaned as soon as practicable. Commercial fishers use cracked or crushed ice to keep the fish in the hold fresh because it provides more uniform cooling than cube ice. I crack a couple of bags of cubes whenever I’m going fishing out of Port San Luis. It’s good but not essential to gut and gill the fish immediately after they’re caught if they’re chilled promptly. It helps to remove the dark meat along the lateral line when filleting. Some people find that meat too “fishy” in flavor. Good luck with future fishing. Yellowtail are wonderful cooked over an open flame, as are Bonita.
posted by X4ster at 10:12 PM on August 13, 2015

There was a time when we caught Bonito inside King Harbor, Redondo. It was great sport to catch six pound Bonito on light weight freshwater tackle. The CA state record for Bonito is 21 pounds, they have been regarded as "poor man's tuna" in terms of fight on light tackle, like six pound test line on a trout rod. The reputation for our west coast Bonita being oily is unfounded in my experience.
posted by X4ster at 10:31 PM on August 13, 2015

Best answer: Bonita recipes courtesy of Dan Hernandez.
posted by X4ster at 10:55 PM on August 13, 2015

Best answer: Tuna with Red Pepper Sauce, Canary Islands Style: "Bonito is a term for several related small members of the tuna family, all with very dark meat — it is as burgundy as venison — and is closer in flavor to mackerel than its larger tuna cousins. Bonito are generally unloved in the United States but enjoyed in the Spanish-speaking world. I like them a lot, once you cut out the extremely dark “blood line” that runs down the center of each fillet."

Disclaimer: Haven't tried this recipe, but have never gone wrong with recipes from Hank Shaw.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:32 AM on August 14, 2015

Bonito is a staple in Japanese cuisine, so maybe look for Japanese recipes?
posted by LoonyLovegood at 9:13 AM on August 14, 2015

If I had fresh bonito, I would have to make at least some of it into katsuobushi.

Only if you're the type that's willing to go down a deep rabbit hole for a very specialized fermentation process, though.

Or, for that matter, make sushi.
posted by cmoj at 10:54 AM on August 14, 2015

Which "bonito" is it? Atlantic bonito or Pacific bonito (aka "skipjack")?

They are both quite different fish.

If it's Atlantic bonito, I would cut into filets, salt lightly and grill on the barbeque for 20 minutes. Serve with lemon and ground daikon radish. The oil makes them perfect for grilling, really.

Pacific bonito, aka "skipjack" can be charred broiled as a tataki, with the inside left raw. Eat with Ponzu dipping sauce, or with salt and lemon juice dip.
posted by Nevin at 11:49 AM on August 14, 2015

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