Less popular in home kitchens than seabass and bream, the croaker It is however one of the more versatile and grateful white fish at the table, highly appreciated in catering for the many possibilities it offers. Generous in size, white and firm meat, no less delicate, sea bass is an excellent product of the sea to take into account both for everyday cooking and for special occasions.
From the simplest preparations such as the grill, to celebratory recipes such as a roast with salt, without forgetting traditional dishes such as a stew, rice or soup, the corvina lends itself to all kinds of preparations that also go through more exotic and fresh dishes, as it performs very well raw, marinated and even salted. With an exquisite flavor but without the intensity of the blues, it is a fish that everyone usually likes, well received by children and highly valued by the most demanding palates.
What is croaker: description and characteristics
Going into more detail, the corvina (Argyrosumus regius) is the most common name by which we generically know this fish and its varieties in Spain and other Latin American countries. It can also be found under many other names, such as corvinata, pardilleja, majoleta, reche, reig, andreja or perch regia.
It is a saltwater white fish from the Scynidae family (Sciaenidae), to which various species very similar to each other belong and which are usually very popular in sport fishing. Its adult size ranges from 30 cm to even exceed 2 m in length, being able to weigh more than 50 kilos in exceptional cases.
With a long and slender body, with a fine head and smooth chin, it has a large mouth that extends to the level of the eyes. Presents a shiny silver-gray or bluish-gray color with medium scales, highlighting the two upper fins, with a hydrodynamic profile and the rear one being twice as large as the previous one. The fins are darker in color, with shades of brown and gold, reflections that are often shown on the head as well.
It is a robust and muscular animal, typically predatory and voracious, with numerous small sharp teeth distributed in several lines and strong jaws. It feeds on mollusks, crustaceans, small fish and even worms, and it is used to living alone, except during the breeding season, taking care of the youngest chicks that it provides shelter in its mouth in dangerous situations.
Species, fishing areas and best season
The most common croaker in Europe comes from fishing for waters of the easternmost Atlantic Ocean and also of the Mediterranean Sea, from where it is known that ancient civilizations were already fond of its capture and consumption. It is currently listed as a non-endangered species, largely due to its success in breeding aquaculture, which extends its time of consumption to the whole year.
Wild water fishing season starts at late summerSeptember and October being the months usually most appreciated by professionals to take advantage of it fresh. The techniques used are usually trawl nets, long lines and hooks, with Mauritania, Morocco and Egypt standing out in their world fishing. In Europe, France, Portugal and Spain they concentrate the bulk of their fishing, with more modest numbers.
Corvina species also abound in more tropical waters and it is a highly appreciated fish in American countries, such as Peru or Uruguay, where the so-called black croaker. Likewise, species such as the tiger corvina are found in waters of the peaceful.
Properties and benefits
As white fish, corvina shares healthy properties with other species such as the aforementioned sea bass and sea bream, or also cod and hake, being slightly more fatty than this, with about 4 g of total fat per 100 g of edible portion, but low in saturated fat. On the other hand, it stands out for its contribution of healthy fatty acids omega 3 and omega 6.
White fish are nutritionally very valuable foods thanks to the contribution of high quality protein, being in the corvina of about 19.5 g of proteins per 100 g. It is a source of essential amino acids, in addition to vitamins of group B and E, and minerals such as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus or calcium.
In this way, except in vegetarian and vegan diets or in allergic people, sea bass is a very nutritious and beneficial food to include in the usual diet, easy to digest if techniques and accompaniments are used also light and healthy. It is perfect for all ages and very suitable for children and athletes, as well as for slimming diets or weight control, due to its satiating character, protein and moderate calories.
How to prepare and cook sea bass at home
Again we turn to the comparison with sea bass or cod in terms of recommendations on how to acquire and cook sea bass to prepare it at home, since the same techniques.
In the market we can find fresh sea bass wild fish or aquaculture specimens; It is convenient to check the labeling or ask at the fishmonger to know exactly the origin and quality of the product, since, in addition, we could be facing defrosted sea bass. It is crucial information in case we plan to serve it raw or freeze it at home.
We can buy a whole specimen of about 1.5-2 kg if it is at a good price, asking that it be cleaned and opened in book form, to make it on the back or stuffed, to roast with salt or, if it is more comfortable, in loins or ration pieces. Of course, the head and spine will help us to make a good stock.
With their firm meat and preserving the skin, the loins are perfect for cooking grilled or grilled, and if we clean them well, we can incorporate them chopped into rice dishes, stews, soups, fideuás or accompanied by sauces such as pil pil, garlic or with seafood in green sauce. And as we have already mentioned, it is an ideal fish to make a Peruvian ceviche and other raw processing like a carpaccio, poke, sushi or a fresh tiradito.
Recipes with sea bass to take advantage of it
To start the recipe we are going to fillet the fish in case it has been bought complete, always previously frozen at least 72 hours. It can be ordered like this in a fishmonger.
Chop the onion, chilli and well-washed coriander. We place in a bowl and mix. Cut the fish into pieces about 4-5 cm long. We add them to the other ingredients along with the juice of the limes. We mix well and cover. We refrigerate about 20-30 minutes.
Complete recipe | Peruvian corvina ceviche
Black couscous with grilled sea bass
- Ingredients for 4 people. 1 peeled carrot, chopped in * brunoise, 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped, 75 g of onion, finely chopped, 150 g of couscous, the same volume as stock or stock couscous, 2 sachets of squid ink or cuttlefish, 10 g of butter , extra virgin olive oil, 1 large sea bass loin divided into four pieces and salt.
- Elaboration. Heat a little oil in a deep saucepan and poach the carrot with the onion over a very low heat. We will let it sweat for about 15-20 minutes. While we measure the volume of the couscous and the broth, which should be the same. We heat the fish stock and add the ink. We keep it warm. When the onion and carrot are ready, add the couscous and fry it. Add the black broth, turn off the heat and cover. Let stand 10-15 minutes. Add the diced butter, stir with a fork and reserve. Season the fish, grease a plate with oil and place the pieces of sea bass. We turn to oil on both sides, heat a griddle and cook the fish over high heat for two minutes, without touching. We turn and leave two more minutes or until we see that they are ready.
Complete recipe | Black couscous with grilled sea bass, a healthy and delicious recipe to show off without complications
- Ingredients for 4 people. 4 clean portions of sea bass (about 150-200 g), 4 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1/2 tomato, 6 black olives, 1/2 Italian green pepper, 1/2 red pepper, extra virgin olive oil.
- Elaboration. Place the fish clean of bones in an oven-safe dish, skin side down. We chop the vegetables into very small pieces. You can also add a piece of chives. We put in a bowl to mix it well and put a tablespoon of the mixture on each portion of fish. Cover each portion with a generous spoonful of mayonnaise and grill 8-9 minutes at 230ºC, leaving it until the mayonnaise has a nice golden color.
Complete recipe | Sea bass recipe with mayonnaise crust and hidden vinaigrette
Baked sea bass with potatoes, onion and coriander
- Ingredients for 4 people. 1 sea bass open at the back, pickled onion or 1 onion in fine julienne strips, fresh coriander to taste, 2 potatoes, black pepper, salt and extra virgin olive oil.
- Elaboration. We cut the peeled potatoes into very thin slices, better with mandolin. We spread in a baking dish and cover them with pickled onion strands. We also add a little salt, some coriander leaves and a drizzle of oil. We put in the oven preheated to 180ºC. We will have asked the fishmonger to open the corvina in half, leaving the bone aside. Seeing later when that rasp rises without difficulty, we will know when our fish is ready. When the potatoes take ten minutes, we place the fish on top, which we will also decorate with the onion, and the coriander after having seasoned it. We let the corvina roast in the oven for at most 20 minutes, checking the point with the trick of the rasp.
Complete recipe | Baked sea bass with potatoes, onion and coriander: easy fish recipe
Sea bass with asparagus and romesco
- Ingredients for 4 people. 4 clean loins of 1 large sea bass, 500 g of green asparagus, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Ingredients for the romesco sauce. 2-3 ripe tomatoes, 1 head of garlic, 70 roasted almonds, 2 ñoras, 1 small slice of toasted bread, 250 g of extra virgin olive oil, 100 g of vinegar, sweet red paprika, 1 chilli and salt.
- Elaboration. For the sauce, we roast the tomato and garlic, rehydrate the ñoras, gather all the ingredients in a blender glass and blend. We let cool in the fridge. When the sauce is cold, it will be time to start grilling the seasoned green asparagus. Finally we put the fish on the hot plate, just a few minutes so that they are very juicy and we plate with the sauce and asparagus.
Complete recipe | Sea bass with green asparagus in romesco sauce
Photos | Granero Restaurant – Javier Lastras – Cucombre Libre – DGuendel – Koldo Miranda – Roberto Rodríguez
Directly to the Palate | Seasonal hake: which is the best, how to prepare it and eight recipes to enjoy it
Directly to the Palate | All about octopus: properties, season and how to cook this mollusk (with recipes included)