How to cook
Tuna pastrami, called Mojama, is one of the most emblematic traditional appetizers prepared in certain areas of Spain - Alicante/Murcia, Valencia, Andalusia.
It is called the Sea Jamon and is a delicacy that deserves special attention.
The preparation for Mojama is not much different from the way any other pastrami is made, but what is important for a quality Mojama, is the quality of the tuna fillet that is used for it and exactly which part of the fish it is - whether top or center. This determines the class and quality of the pastrami itself.
To make it at home, you must first choose a 1.2″ (3 cm) thick tuna fillet, cleaned from its bones and skin. The best Mojama (top quality) is obtained from the central part of the fillet.
It is a mandatory rule to freeze it for 24 hours and then defrost it - this destroys the parasites in raw fish that can cause gastrointestinal disorders.
The salt and sugar are mixed and half of the amount is spread in a convenient container, which is the size of a fish fillet. It is placed on a layer of salt and sugar (in some recipes only salt is used, in others a higher percentage of sugar) and covered tightly with the rest. Press it down well, close the container and store it in a cool place (in the refrigerator) for 36-48 hours.
During this time, the liquid is extracted from the fish and it becomes drier and harder and its volume decreases considerably, which is logical.
It is washed well and dried perfectly.
The original mojama does not contain aromas of spices and additional flavors - the aroma of tuna itself is very strong, unique and even more concentrated when dried.
Traditionally, in the Mediterranean areas where it is prepared, it is dried outdoors and wrapped in a cloth similar to cheesecloth or gauze, which allows it to breathe and at the same time it mainly protects against insects.
The drying of the mojama is about 18-20 days.
At home, this is done in the refrigerator or in a cool room and it can be wrapped or not. It can also be pressed down with a heavy object.
The finished dried Mojama is consumed cut into very thin pieces, since its taste is strong and salty. Sprinkle it generously with olive oil and is traditionally accompanied by roasted unsalted almonds or pieces of tomato.
Store it in the refrigerator for up to 6 months and it is best to cut it and cover it in olive oil.
If you want to keep a large piece of pastrami for a long time, I advise you to vacuum it and freeze it.
That way you can always have an amazing seafood delicacy to enchant your guests with.