Romanian carp file in quick brine with vegetables and polenta.
There are plenty of salt baked recipes. Whole fish in a salt crust made with egg whites and salt, baked in the oven.
Romanians do things differently. A traditional recipe made not only in the Danube delta or along the Danube river, but everywhere in the country.
It’s made with all kinds of fish, but carp is the most used, as Romanians don’t shy away from eating all fresh water fish.
This is a flavorsome main course, served usually with polenta as garnish.
- 500g carp file
- 1 red pepper
- 1 tomato
- 1 large onion
- 4-5 garlic cloves
- 1 chili
- coarse salt
- black pepper, vinegar
- lovage, bay leaf, dill, thyme, parsley
There are “poorer” versions of this recipe, there are simpler versions of this recipe, but in my opinion this is the tastier of all, although it takes longer and more ingredients than “needed”.
It’s still keeping with tradition, and the result is better.
Roast all the vegetables on an open flame or even in the oven. The char you get from the open flame is much better for flavor. Peel the pepper and the tomato, cut in small cubes, slice the garlic, cut the bigger rings of onion.
On a griddle pan, place a thin layer of coarse salt. See salt, or even rock salt. Heat until the salt starts to almost smoke. Quite hot.
Portion the fish and place on the griddle, skin side down first for about 6-7 minutes. The skin will protect the fish from burning and will be discarded later. Turn the fish and cook for a further 3-4 minutes until done.
Leave to cool for a couple of minutes, peel the skin and remove most of the salt from the fish. The remaining salt will be just enough to season the brine.
Add some water to a pan, about 500ml and bring to boil. Lower the fire, add all the veg, the chili (fresh or dried), the bay leaf, thyme, lovage, season with some black pepper. Add a couple of spoons of vinegar. To taste. Turn the fire off and add the fish pieces, cover and let it steep for 10 minutes in the brine, it will flavor from all the vegetables and herbs.
Other popular recipes in this category:
- Best Romanian chicken paprikash with flour dumplings.
- Traditional cabbage rolls (sarmale) stuffed with minced pork and smoked meats.
- Chicken and noodles soup.