Bring the taste of the chiringuito home: Simple Spanish fish and seafood recipes

by Lorraine Williamson
small fish

Many of us enjoy eating fresh fish and seafood at the chiringuitos along the coast, but have you ever thought about cooking some of these delicious meals at home? Today, we explore two dishes that can be cooked at the same time using the same, few basic ingredients, and costing next to nothing. Especially if you have a fish market near you.

The first recipe is very simple, the second has a few more steps to follow as long as you don´t mind getting messy in the kitchen.

Sardines (Sardinas)

The fishmonger will clean these small fish, but before cooking, you might want to remove the guts. This can easily be removed from the cut the fishmonger has made. These fish are quite small, so they do not need to be filleted.

Ingredients:
  • Fresh sardines
Dressing:

This is the same as for the calamari, so make plenty.baked fish

  • Olive oil
  • Fresh parsley
  • Lemon

Mix everything together.

Instructions:
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
  2. Prepare the sardinas by cleaning them and putting them into a roasting dish.
  3. Drizzle with a healthy amount of olive oil, parsley and lemon mix. Feel free to add lemon slices or squeeze extra lemon on top.
  4. Put them into the oven for around 15-18 minutes.

It´s as easy as that! They can be enjoyed with some fresh bread and a glass of wine, or a caña (small beer). And now for our second fish dish! This can be prepared and cooked while the sardines are in the oven.

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If you don´t want to cook, and prefer to go to one of the many fantastic chiringuitos, you can find the best on the Costa del Sol here.

Calamari

Be warned – it gets messy, but it is well worth it!

Ingredients:
  • Fresh calamari

fresh calamari from the fishmongerclean calamari

Instructions:
  1. Clean the calamari inside and out.
  2. Holding the body, pull the innards out. This will still be attached to the head.
  3. Cut the tentacles off immediately after the eyes and discard the innards.
  4. Remove the cuttlebone (looks like clear plastic) inside the body and discard it.
  5. Remove the beak/mouth-piece from the tentacles, by squeezing from the centre of the head, and cut off the two longer tentacles.
  6. Peel off the fins or wings, which will in turn remove the outer skin leaving the body white.
  7. Clean them thoroughly inside and out again.
  8. Use your fingers or a blunt knife to squeeze out any remaining contents.
  9. If you want to show off to your dinner guests, place a knife inside the calamari and cut lines across only the top side of the squid with another knife.
  10. Heat a frying pan with plenty of oil.
  11. Add the squid and tentacles to the hot oil.
  12. Finally, add some of the dressing mix.
  13. Cook for just a few minutes, turning regularly until done.

Both dishes can be served in the oil with lemon on the side and bread for dipping. You may want to serve them with alioli (garlic mayonnaise) for an extra kick.

fish ready to eat

Spanish cuisine

Sardines and calamari are staples of Spanish cuisine, especially in coastal regions like Andalucia. Sardines are often grilled and served simply with olive oil, lemon, and parsley, allowing their fresh, delicate flavour to shine through.

Calamari, is incredibly versatile and can be prepared in various ways, including grilling, frying with or without batter, or even stuffing. Moreover, in Spanish cuisine, it is often enjoyed as a tapa, served with a squeeze of lemon and a side of alioli.

Also read: Best supermarkets to buy fresh fish

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