I’ve mentioned this fish before, it was last year in one of my first Fish Tales. I’ve returned to it today because we enjoyed some the other evening. The fish I’m talking about is the second largest fish caught in the Algarve. The largest is of course the Bluefish Tuna, and the second largest is the Corvina (Argyrosomus regius).
The Corvina has often caught our eye in the market mainly because of its size but also its price. It is one of the most expensive sold in Olhão and only a few fish stalls in the market sell it. You may not even see it in the smaller markets. Last year it was selling in Olhão at €17 per kilo, last week it was €20 per kilo.
The English name is Meagre which I think is quite an inappropriate name given the size! I’ve not yet found out why it is called Meagre, but have discovered that in the English language Corvina is a generic name for many fish. For example Croakers are often called Corvina, but they are quite different and so it can be quite confusing if you are looking for recipes.
You can use it in stews but most books recommend grilling it which is what we did the other night. The steaks were very tasty although must admit some of the cheaper fish has been just as good! Having said that if you feel like spoiling yourself but want something simple to cook then the Corvina is definitely worth trying.
In preparing this post I stumbled upon (well actually my husband found them!) two great new websites. The first is a local company called Tunipex, and it was via them we learnt that when fishermen catch this fish, they thank their fortune and create an accessory with the ear stone of Corvina. It is also where I found the amazing photograph below- not seen them that large in the market yet! Their site is well worth visiting if you are interested in fishing and/or fish. There is also a fascinating picture of the fish tanks on a plane; Tunipex fly live fish out to Japan, the USA, Dubai and other countries, well I think it is fascinating!
The second site you may want to visit is a foodie blog. Really good blog with recipes and the history of local dishes. We found the site because the blogger, Rupert, is a chef and a couple of years ago was posting about the Corvina. It was his post title which caught my eye – ‘Meagre by name but not by nature‘ – I agree!