MOJAMA - SALTED SPANISH TUNA
is a salted loin of tuna, think Spanish tuna and the
tinned gourmet rod caught Yellowfin may spring to mind
but for hundreds of years fishermen have been salting
their fish to help preserve the catch, the result of
this age old method of preservation means that the art
of curing fish is still practiced today and Spanish
cured tuna is a delicacy enjoyed throughout Spain, particularly
in Madrid as lunchtime tapas.
is made by curing the tuna loins for two to three days
(depending on size) then, similarly with Spanish cured
ham the salt is washed off and the loins are left to
cure. The traditional method still involves laying out
the tuna loins and letting them dry cure in the sun
and coastal breezes, this process usually takes around
taste mojama is to experience one of those foods from
days gone by when salting and preserving was essential,
mojama has now arguably become one of the most enjoyed
salted seafood products and is commonly regarded as
gourmet, if Spanish Iberico ham is the king
of all cured meats then mojama would certainly be the
king of all salted fish. Looking at a cured mojama loin
you will first notice its colour, a deep burgundy red.
Once the loin has been cut into the inner flesh becomes
a much brighter and vibrant shade of red and is highly
aromatic with the distinctive hint of tuna.
should be served as thinly as possible, wafer thin for
optimum enjoyment. Similarly to a good Spanish ham the
thinner the slices the better the texture, thinly sliced
mojama will almost melt in the mouth. The flavour of
this salted tuna is strong, quite bossy and in Spains
capital Madrid where mojama is a popular tapa the mojama
is usually served with a short cold beer to mellow the
flavour. As a Spanish delicacy that is best left to
its own devices there are only a few complimentary foods
that will work with this fish:
Fresh, sweet vine ripened tomatoes work well with
mojama, chop the tomatoes and sprinkle over a little
pepper or finely chopped sage with olive oil for a
combination of land and sea.
Unsalted almonds also compliment mojama, there is
a certain sweetness to the almond that helps balance
the strong flavour of the tuna, accompanied with cold
beer mojama and almonds make up a classy Spanish tapa.
For those who adore Spains true flavours the
humble olive will compliment your thinly sliced mojama
perfectly, split olives are best or large queen olives,
either marinated in herbs or simply plain.
One of the more popular ways to serve mojama is to
cut the loin thinly then lay the slices in a terracotta
tray before covering with olive oil. The slices are
left to marinade for an hour or two during which time
they begin to soften. One ready the slices are served
on fresh crusty bread drizzled in the infused oil.
as an ingredient
does work as in ingredient, used liberally the tuna
will add a delicious flavour to basic salads, try a
simple tomato salad with cubes of manchego and shaved
mojama over the top drizzled in olive oil, serve with
a good Spanish fino sherry and the flavours of Spain
loin of mojama is purchased as a slab so it can be grated
or alternatively you can cut off a thin wedge, divide
onto three cubes and crumble over food. This texture
means that your mojama can add flavour not just to salads
but also dips try crumbling in cream cheese,
add some chives and a little garlic and you have a dip
that will certainly get the guests guessing.
can be an acquired taste, if you enjoy your flavours
strong and have a love of seafood then mojama will certainly
deliver, flavours linger on the palate for a quite a
while making this a cut of tuna that packs a punch.
Next time you consider a pasta dish instead of parmesan
try a little grated mojama. Simply delicious!
you wish to order some Mojama you can do so at www.orceserranohams.com.
Copyright 2011 Orce Serrano Hams - www.orceserranohams.com
09 October 2011