Bonito encebollado : white tuna in dark onion sauce

Lately my life is one of being tied to my desk all day. When I do leave the house in the daytime, it´s to run short errands. But I can never resist going into the market, just to see what´s there.
The other day I wandered in, aimlessly, just because I´d been to the bank and I had a vague idea of buying some fruit.
And then I saw the freshest, most beautiful looking bonito (white tuna, albacore). I had to have it.
Rashly, without thinking, I asked the fishmonger to cut it into chunks, as for marmitako.
Once home, I was sorry, because it would have been heavenly as a big slice,marinated in soy sauce and mirin, and then lightly grilled. But it was too late for that.
I was put off the marmitako, in a fit of pique with myself, so I had to think of another way to do it.
Bonito encebollado came to mind. It´s one of those brilliant ideas, a very simple dish that only requires a bit of patience to do, and pays back a thousand times.
It´s also pretty good for doing ahead. You can make the onion sauce in the morning when it´s still cool, and only do the fish when you want to eat.

You chop a ridiculous amount of onions. For 500 grams of fish, I´d say about 4 or 5 big ones. Peel and slice thinly, or chop. Heat a big skillet or sautee pan with enough olive oil to cover the bottom. Add the onions, and let them cook slowly. When they´ve been there for 15 minutes, I like to add a heaped spoonful of brown sugar.
After 30 minutes or so, they should be caramelized and dark. Add 200 ml of oloroso sherry, or some other generous wine that´s not very sweet. If it is, then don´t add sugar before.

Leave to boil away, and when it´s a dark syrupy mess, add the salted tuna chunks, and grind black pepper over. When they´re white on one side, that´s in seconds, turn them over, leave for a minute, and then cover and turn the fire off. The residual heat will cook the fish, and it will be perfect in five minutes. It´s important not to leave it dry.

Serve with plain white rice.

Quantities for two hearty eaters (aka outright pigs) or three normal people.

10 comentarios:

Anónimo dijo...

I love everything about that recipe, and I bet it would work well with other types of fish also.
This reminds me that I need to push my search for a decent fish monger into overdrive.

BTW, I enjoyed the glimpse of your office. That's my kind of space -- lots of books and lots of inspiration on the cork board.

Raquel dijo...

Oooooh! I love the little fisherman!

I´m thinking now of tuna Teka Maki, yum!

Anónimo dijo...

oh my, i bet this would be delicious with whole sardines!
or am i wrong?
man i love sardines! (not too keen on tuna however...)

Anónimo dijo...

Sounds delicious. I definitely will try it out. Yummy

S. dijo...

Ha!! Love the illustration, very imaginative! :)

Nadiah Alwi - Write at Home Mom dijo...

nice illustration...

and, sounds tasty :D

lobstersquad dijo...

Hi Julie: I´m sure it would work pretty well with any other blue fish. And with pork or chicken too, provided you brown it first and adjust the cooking time, I guess.
Guru: I´m off for sushi and teri yaki straight away today
Ann: Probably. I love them too, let me know if you do make it pls
Carlanga: great, and thanks for visiting.
Stefanie: thanks
Nadiah: thanks also.

Julie dijo...

Great recipe! My husband and I love Spanish food, but where am I going to find bonito?! Bacalao is available, but I'll have to do some searching. Just reading about your caramelized onions (another favorite of ours) made me drool.

Anónimo dijo...

I see a resemblance to your yummy onion jam. I am still doling mine out to myself in small quantities, to save it up, but am coming to the point where I'll need to make more.

Browned onions, in varying degrees of brown-ness, add so many different wonderful flavors to so many different kinds of things. I think you might like my very simple, very cheap recipe for mujadarrah, which you can find with the search function on my site, if interested. It uses brown to the point of almost black onions to powerful advantage.

lobstersquad dijo...

Julie: I´m sure you have all kinds of delicious blue fish in Florida. Anything goes with this one, I think
Lindy: I´m a caramelized onion junkie, in all their forms. I´ll definitely try mujadarrah, even though I don´t know what it is. Thank you.