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Thread: Bonito edible?

  1. #1

    Default Bonito edible?

    I just ran across a post where a guy was slaying Bonito. How is Bonito to eat???? I have heard that unless you make ceviche or something, it isn't that good. (All I do know is that the larger ones are a blast to catch!! Those suckers rival YFT in fight.) Even when they are filleting it for you, they have to leave the skin on so it doesn't fall apart if I recall correctly. Since I heard that, I have never kept one. I either release it (which I try to do most often) or if it is killed, give it to other people or the deck hands (mainly on personal mexico charters out of Ensenada or Cabo).

    Worth eating? How prepared?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Monterey Park, CA
    Posts
    1,794

    Default

    The main thing with bonito is as soon as you catch it bleed it right away and get it on ice ASAP. If not it get's all mushy and then it's pretty much lobster bait. If chilled and properly taken care of right away it makes for excellent sashimi. If I get one or two towards the end of the day I will definitely take it home, and it makes one of the best tuna salads out there. Definitely better than that stuff you buy in a can at the supermarket and you don't have to waste really good sushi grade tuna to make a tuna salad sandwich.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    taco stand in San Quintin
    Posts
    4,668

    Default

    For years I didn't know better and would give them away. Only just last year was I turned on to them. Like Ricky-Ray says, if handled properly, they make outstanding fare. If your on a good cattleboat, tell the deckies of your intentions and they'll help in that respect. On a private boat, I find a nice salt-ice slurry in a cooler works better than plain ice (super cold salt effect)....though you do go through a little more ice (cause of the salting). By the way, believe it or not, skipjack is tasty too as sashimi!

    As for cooking them, I kinda prefer it as sashimi within a day or two (max) of catching it. Lots of great recipes and smoking tips for them I think in the recipe section here. Gave some last month to some neighbors who are Peruvian, they cooked it and brought me a plate: outstanding. They called it "Escabeche" style. Worth googling up for the recipe.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Big Bear Lake, CA
    Posts
    323

    Default bones

    Like the guys said, proper handling is key. They're good bbq'd and really good tetaki style (seared just an 1/8 inch or so on the outside) coated in sesame seeds (before you flash sear em) and then RE CHILL. Slice thin like sashimi and do the dipping thing in wasabi/soy or make a wasabi and garlic vinegrette. Very good eating!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    1,638

    Default

    Bonito caught offshore taste phenomenal. I caught a few 10lbers last year at the Cortez Bank and they were awesome. 3lb Bonito caught in King Harbor.... not so awesome the one time I kept a few. As everybody said, you have to bleed them fast, keep them cool, and you have to keep them straight without any pressure on them. Slit the gills and keep them at the top of your gunny sack, and then do what it takes to keep them cool. I just tossed water from the bait tank on mine, but ice is a lot better. If you are careful with them, bonito can taste pretty much like tuna. Also, remember to remove the blood line.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    A.V. CA.
    Posts
    1,747

    Default

    MMmm Good..
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  7. #7

    Default

    I will be going on a private couple dayer out of SD next weekend, and of course they have the freezer hold. So I think I'll bleed one out and get her in the freezer. I don't know what to do about the pressure.....becasue with any luck though.....there will be lots of other big fish thrown on top of them :-). Well just have to deal with that. Thanks guys!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Monterey Park, CA
    Posts
    1,794

    Default

    If you happen to catch a nice one in the beginning of the trip ask the cook/deckhand to see if they are willing to sashimi it up as a mid day snack. If they are then problem solved about worrying about the amount of pressure sitting on top of it.

    Then again if you run into a wide open yellowtail or tuna bite then sashimi one of those babies up instead. :)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    San Fernando Valley
    Posts
    9,641

    Default

    I was on the Spitfire fishing Rocky Point a few years back and we caught a handful of bonita and one of the guys went to throw it back when the cook asked him for the fish....boy am I glad he did. The cook bled it right away and had the deckie fillet it up for him. The fish was thrown on the grill with a little teriyaki sauce, garlic cloves, onions and then put on a plate for everyone to sample...DELISH! Nobody released anymore bonita that trip.


    TD

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    San Diego County
    Posts
    2

    Default Yes!!!!

    Bonito are very nice to eat, if you do everything right. I recommend that when you catch any you bleed them right away and get them submerged in an Ice Bath. I may mention I do this with all the fish I catch. It keeps the meat free of any blood.

    I have an Ice chest that I fill with a mix of Ice and saltwater, kind of an ice slush. Once I catch a Bonito I cut right where the gills meet the body and blood start flowing. Some will let the fish drain out in a seperate bucket and that's cool also, but once the blood is drained get them in to the slush and make sure they are fully submerged.

    Prepair them anyway you wish. Smoked, grilled, or whatever. Enjoy this fish, and don't let anyone decide your eating pleasures, make your own judgements.

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