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Mojama Popular Tuna Dry Fish from Spain

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Mojama Popular Tuna Dry Fish from Spain

You might have just heard about tuna dry fish since this food is not very popular at the moment. But now, people are starting to take notice of this seafood alternative especially when they are bored eating canned tuna all the time. When first seeing this processed food, you might not even know that it is in fact a food since it has wood like appearance. The tuna turned into wood like appearance because it has been dried completely through long processed.

How to Make Mojama Tuna Dry Fish?
Popular tuna dry fish dish in the western country is the Mojama, although there are other varieties of tuna dried fish from other parts of the world, but Mojama gain most popularity since it comes from Spain. The Mojama itself has been Spain culture for centuries. In the Spanish culture, their fishermen will cured or dry the tuna in warm climate. With this method they will be able to preserve their harvest for longer time. As we know, at that time there is no refrigerator to preserve food as we have today, thus this method is one of the methods that they use to be able to preserve the food that they catch.
To make the Mojama, Spanish fishermen will use knife to fillet rear tuna meat to be long loin strips. They will use fresh tuna fish in the process and take unnecessary part off such as the head and tail. The next step is to wash it from dirt with water then curing it using sea salt so it will be mature. This will take at least two days to complete. Afterwards the salt will be removed from the loin strips. Next step is to wash the tuna meat, so the salt will be completely removed from the meat.
Then the meat will be hung outside in dry and airy place so it will be dried by the breeze and sun heat. The drying process will be slow and long, you can see that the tuna meat will start to shrink in size and the color will also get darker and darker. In the end they will have red dark brown color and the consistency will be very firm thus it will have wood like appearance. When tuna dry fish is made using traditional method, it will take around fifteen to around twenty days to completely dry it. This is when you see a lot of dried tuna hung outside in the Ayamonte, Barbate and Huelva towns.
Actually Mojama itself can be made using any type of tuna fish even mackerel can be used. Sometimes small type of tuna such as bonito is also used in the process, however large blue fin type of tuna is the most suitable to be made into Mojama since you can make large fillet from its meat. And of course there should be right climate which allow a lot of sun heat to make the mojama so it can dry completely.
This tuna dry fish has very distinctive taste, texture and aroma which make it very different from fresh tuna meat. This processed food has strong scent and flavor with dominant salty taste because of the making procedure. Because of the process that the tuna meat going through, it has unique flavor which can make your dish become more special. Another note is that because of the process that the tuna meat going through, it also modified the nutrition and properties of the tuna meat. Aside from having higher salt content other nutrition has also become higher because the meat has lost a lot of water using the making process. Therefore mojama will have high content of fat and protein because the making process made all of its content become more concentrated.
In spain and Italy, mojama is considered as appetizer, before serving it will be cut in very thin slice until you can almost see through it. Then it will be marinate inside olive oil to make the meat moist for around one hour. Afterwards you can serve this dish with toasted almonds or chopped tomato as appetizer. This tuna dry fish is also very popular mid afternoon snack or tapa in Madrid which will be served alongside olive and short beer.


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