On a whim, I decided to incorporate some bonito into the mussel pot I was making. I really like bonitos and I don’t think I have yet found the perfect way to cook them yet. My first encounter with a bonito in my kitchen was when Andy first pulled in a hunk of it from an overseas fishing trip. He’d wanted to give it away to a friend’s mother, but the bonito was rejected when the aunty say the deep red flesh inside… well well well. Bonitos are really hardy. The meat is like poultry – far heavier than your regular fish.
I turned into a sake stew that time… but that’s for another time, another post. Today, let’s talk about the seafood pot.
- Mussels (I bought a box of half-cooked, frozen ones, about 30 of them. I strongly recommend going for fresh ones, as you’d then be able to extract the flavoursome juice from the mussels to add to the stew).
- Scallops (to taste. I had about like 20 of them all thrown in)
- Bonito (I filleted the meat, kept the bones. This is a small bonito, about length of your arm, and quite skinny).
- Rosemary (it was meant to be thyme, but i bought rosemary and it turned out ok too)
- Butter (3/4 of a stick)
- 2 small tomatoes diced
- 6 cloves of garlic, diced
- 1 white onion, diced
- salt and pepper to taste
- Milk (2 tbsps)
- 2 tsp of lemon juice
- lemon zest (i added some pomelo zest to mine… tastes and smells great!)
- Put the bonito bones and parsley and rosemary (or thyme) into a pot of water (just enough to cover the fish) and boil them for about 20mins. If you are using fresh mussels, you can omit this step (see below).
- Melt the butter in a pot (I used a wok, but realise this is unconventional choice… any pot will do).
- Then add garlic and onion, sauté for a bit.
- Then add in the tomatoes.
- Then, add the mussels and toss it for a bit.
- Add water, enough to cover the mussels.
- Then add milk. Let it stew for a bit (about 15mins)
- VERY IMPORTANT: If you are using fresh mussels, you need to cook them in a separate pot first. You will have some liquid coming out of the mussels as they cook, reserve them. Then, go to step 1.
- Add salt to taste.
- Then, add scallops and the bonito.
- Simmer till cooked.
- To serve, sprinkle lemon zest on top and some parsley.