"Pesce di passo", bonitos belong to the family of tunas and mackerels, and they are also very similar. The flesh is very compact and tasty and dishes that really bring out the flavour are always best: grilled, dressed with fine herbs, oil, salt, or in a sauce, with tomatoes, parsely, garlic, capers, olives and chilli peppers (in Elba they call them ginger).
Bonito in oil is the most traditional way to enjoy it: cut and fillet the larger fish then place in oil with laurel leaves, pepper and of course "zenzero" or chilli peppers.
Bonito in oil is best eaten along with both Mediterranean and exotic salads but it is even better if served with boiled, white, haricot beans, slices of fresh, ripe tomatoes, fresh onions and basil.
Approximately 2 kg of bonito, 3 litres of water, one large onion, one glass of white vinegar, 270 gr of coarse salt, black pepper corns, cloves, chilli peppers, 2/3 laurel leaves, olive oil and seed oil
Clean the bonito and remove the head, tail and entrails. Cut into large pieces of at least 2 cm thick and rinse thoroughly to remove any blood so that the flesh is completely white.
Fill a pot with three litres of cold water and add: onion, black pepper corns, cloves, vinegar and salt. Remove from heat as soon as water starts to boil. Put pieces of bonito in water, bring back to boil, put lid on pot so as to keep steam at minimum and cook very gently for about two hours.
Remove from heat and leave to cool. Remove pieces gently, don't throw water away, peel off skin, any scales and dark areas. Rinse in remaining water then leave bonito in dry dish cloth for at least 3/4 hours.
When you have finished and the bonito is completely cold and dry put the pieces in a glass jar. Add a few pepper corns or chillipeppers and laurel leaves, cover in oil and keep.Leave to "mature" for at least one month.
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