Seared and Spiced Bonito

One of the most delicious dishes that we discovered last month while tasting new combinations for our herbs, was this bonito recipe handed to Daphnis and Chloe by Manos Zournazis. Manos who is one of the 5 chefs at a favorite Athenian restaurant, suggested a seasonal fish meze that couldn’t exist without herbs and spices. To enjoy this appetizer à la Grecque, serve outdoors with some pickles and an acidic white wine or  with a shot of chilled raki!

Bonito is in season across the Mediterranean from May to July.


1 bonito or tuna about (1,5 kg)
4 medium sized eggplants
2 medium sized, very fresh zucchini
Fennel seeds (whole)
Smoked chili flakes
Long black peppercorns (whole)
Honey, White vinegar, Olive oil, Salt

The Eggplant Seasoning:
chili flakes
25ml vinegar
75ml Olive oil
1tsp honey
The Zucchini Marinade:
25ml lemon
75ml Olive oil
The Fish Rub:
3tbsp fennel seeds &
3tbsp black pepper
Procedure for Fish:
Divide the fish in 4 filets.
Proper filleting is a matter of tecnique: if you want to save time
(or the bonito) leave filetting to your fishmonger!
Get a non-stick skillet hot over high heat
(it takes about 2 mins), then pour 1tbsp olive oil and sear the fillets one by one,
30seconds per side. When you’re done with searing,
place the first fillet on a kitchen board.
Cover all sides with the fennel/pepper rub
and wrap tightly in kitchen film.
Repeat with remaining pieces.
Place the wrapped fillets in the fridge.
Procedure for Vegetables:
 This recipe uses only the skin of the zucchini: peel carefully,
julienne the peels and marinate in a small bowl
with the lemon, olive oil and salt mixture. Put aside.
With a fork, make 2-3 holes on an eggplant. C
ook it directly on fire, 5 minutes from each side,
15 minutess total, until the skin has turn totally black.
Repeat with remaining eggplants. While still warm,
use a knife to take off the burnt skin.
Put the entire, smoked and peeled eggplants aside.
Unwrap the fish fillets and use a
sharp knife to slice the fish in pieces
of 1/2 cm each. Serve the fish slices, the entire
eggplants and the drained zucchini in a serving plate
or wooden board. Season the eggplants with
their sauce and use what has remained from
the zucchini marinade to season the fish.
Add salt only at the end.
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