Andalusian seas are known for their quality and tasty fish and seafood.
Quite many of Andalucia’s coasts are known to be windy and dry. A disadvantage for fishermen is keeping their captures fresh, but an advantage is that is dries quickly in sun.
Many would think sea salt as being an obvious solution, so how does drying fish in the sun help? — you may ask. Let me tell you what it is great for: Mojama. A type of salted dried tuna with delicate flavor and tough (but nice) texture. A method often used by the Arabs that once resided in Andalucia, and carried on to become part of Andalucian customs and cuisine.
How to make tuna ‘Mojama’
1. Types of Tuna
There are two main types of tuna, ‘Atún’ (translates to ‘tuna’) and ‘Bonito’, which also means ‘pretty’ (masc.) in Spanish.
2. Catch the fish
Once you have successfully caught the tuna, you are one step much closer, everything after that is pretty simple – but important.
3. Salty fish
After the fresh tuna has been cut up and filtered, coat vigorously with a lot of sea salt. Left to mature for a couple of days.
4. Maturing moreover
Couple days of maturing should be enough — the tuna is then washed before it’s ready for drying process, to remove any excess salt.
5. Drying process
Just hang it up to dry, best in a cool and windy place. This is when the fish turns into an intense reddish brown color, the color of Mojama.
One can eat it on it’s own, you really get to savor the intense flavor of the salt and the delicate taste of tuna. Often served as a tapa, cut into very thin strips, so thin that you can almost see through them. Some marinate them in olive oil before serving, that makes them a bit softer in texture and on the taste buds. If you feel it needs further accompaniment, a bowl of salted or roasted almonds is a good choice.
Almost every tapas bar in Andalucia (should) offer Mojama, for it’s a culturally flavorsome dish/tapa, that every traveller must try.