Cazón Frito en Adobo

Deep-Fried Marinated Shark

THIS IS DRINKING FOOD. SIMPLE DRINKING FOOD. GET SOME GUMMY SHARK — EVEN THE SUPERMARKET SELLS IT — SOAK IT OVERNIGHT IN A MARINADE, ROLL IT IN SOME FLOUR, THEN DEEP-FRY IT. IN SPAIN THEY USE CAZÓN, OR SPOTTED DOGFISH, BUT WE’VE OPTED FOR LOCAL GUMMY SHARK. WHAT IS INTERESTING IS THE USE OF WATER IN THE MARINADE — AND THE LACK OF SALT. SALT DRAWS LIQUID OUT OF THE FISH; WATER PLUMPS IT UP. SO WHAT WE’RE DOING IS MAKING SUPER-SUCCULENT, SLIGHTLY SHARP, BITE-SIZED MORSELS OF FISH THAT ARE SO MOIST THEY FORM THEIR OWN BATTER WHEN ROLLED IN THE FLOUR. TRY THESE ON A HOT NIGHT WITH PLENTY OF BEER OR CHILLED FINO SHERRY.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg (2 lb 4 oz) gummy shark fillets, bones removed, cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) chunks
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • a handful of parsley, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 brown onion, finely sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 150 ml (5 fl oz) extra virgin olive oil
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) sherry vinegar
  • olive oil, for deep-frying
  • seasoned plain ((all-purpose) flour), to coat
  • sea salt flakes, to sprinkle

Method

Place the shark fillets in a large bowl with the herbs, spices, onion, garlic, olive oil, vinegar and 150 ml (5 fl oz) cold water. Mix together well, then cover and refrigerate overnight.

Fill a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan one-third full of oil and heat to 180–190°C (350–375°F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 10–15 seconds.

Working in small batches, remove the shark from the marinade, gently shake off the excess liquid and dust well in the seasoned flour. Deep-fry for 1½–2 minutes, or until well browned and cooked through. Drain on paper towel, sprinkle with sea salt flakes and serve immediately.