Here is smelt again. This time it is accompanied by fresh char, which is no less popular in Taimyr. Chef Ruslan Asanov knows how to emphasize the advantages of each type of fish and to make the most of their tandem at the same time.
Butchering prey, whether it is deer meat, fish or poultry, the indigenous people of Taimyr use it in whole. Skin serves as clothes and the tent cover, dried veins are used as threads, fur insulates and decorates.
When it comes to fish, the whole catch benefits. Ruslan Asanov, the chef of the Malina cafe, adheres to the same position.
“It doesn’t matter what we use fish fillets for”, he said. “There are always leftovers, and they can be easily used for a new dish, for example, cutlets or rolls. You just should know how to cut a fish properly. Today we will prepare a treat, which I call Fishing. Meet the baked smelt and smoked char, inspired by northern motives.
Traditionally, this dish can be prepared outdoors, in nature, and at home. In the first case, we will fry on a fire, in the second – on an electric stove. Salt and pepper the freshly caught smelt, sprinkle with vegetable oil, fix it with nails or wood chips to the bark and fry over the fire. Cooking in kitchen, it is better to roll the smelt in flour before frying so that the skin of the fish does not stick to the pan.
Char goes next. It must be smoked. To do this, either we buy ready-made cold-smoked fillets, or we smoke them ourselves with the help of steaming sawdust. Then fry in a pan.
You can also add whitefish fillets to this company or cook them on a separate board. Marinate the backs of the fish with garlic and vegetable oil, salt and pepper before frying. Fry cold smoked whitefish in a pan with vegetable oil and spicy herbs – rosemary and thyme.
There is such a concept in cooking as a pomegranate bracelet: several types of herbs are placed in a pan two minutes before frying the product so that they have time to give out their aromatic oils. This will make the dish even richer in taste.
Before serving, place the citrus fruits cut into circles onto the bar, put the fried smelt and char fillets on them. Orange will take the fishy smell away, lemon – will add spicy taste. Enjoy your meal!”
For more recipes using Taimyr products, look into the Taste of the North section of our site.
Text: Yulia Gubeladze, Photo: Nikolay Shchipko and open sources