As we all know, a key component in seasoning any seafood is citrus. When the muscles in the fish start to break down they produce amines which is very similar to ammonia hence the pungent “fishy smell” that you get. The citric acid found in limes and lemons reacts to the amine and forms amine salt which has no smell or taste. So essentially it neutralizes the fishiness of dead fish.
For this seasoning I’m not using the lemon or lime juice but the rind instead because I want to harness the potency of the oils in the skin. If anyone ever squirted orange peel in your eyes you would know exactly what i’m talking about.
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 1 tbsp of black pepper
- 1 habanero pepper
- 2 bundles of shadon beni
- 1 bundle of chive
- 1 bundle of dill
- zest of two limes
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- salt (to taste)
You could use a food processor and combine all these ingredients but I feel a mortar and pestle creates a particular bruising and abrasion action that allows the different flavors to develop a more intimate relationship.
- Finely chop garlic, pepper, shadon beni, chives and dill
- Use a box grater and remove the outer layer of rind from the limes and lemon
- Use a mortar and pestle to grind ingredients until they get to paste-like consistency
- Add olive oil and toss
- Season with salt to taste
Once your seasoning is done its ready to use, although I do recommend leaving it for a few hours or overnight to cousoumeh.
You can tweak this recipe to your taste and make it your own. Feel free to share your own blends in the comment section.