The croaker or umbrine is a fish similar to sea bream and sea bass, but not eaten as much. This could be a consequence of overfishing in recent years, which has made it a rare fish. It is currently available on the market mainly for breeding.
It is a sea bony fish with an oval shape and a silvery color streaked with yellowish on the back, a characteristic from which the name originates. It can be eaten either cooked or raw, after being subjected to the process of killing to eliminate any bacteria that may nest in the meat. It is present in the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea, the Sea of Marmara, the eastern part of the Atlantic Ocean, the Black Sea and the Red Sea. It prefers medium depths because it feeds on invertebrates, which nest in the sandy seabed. It reproduces between May and June, and is fished mainly in winter.
This fish not only has the delicious meat but also has numerous nutritional properties. Let’s discover its characteristics together, so that we can appreciate it even more. The umbrine is rich in protein, contains Omega-3, vitamin D and some B vitamins. Due to its low mercury content, it can be eaten several times a week. It also has the advantage of being an easily digestible food; it is good seasoned simply with salt, oil and lemon, so it is suitable for feeding children or those with pathologies related to digestion.
So let’s give space in the kitchen to this good and healthy fish!
Recipes based on croaker
The croaker is not very greasy, so when cooking you must be careful not to dry it up. Although the meat is very delicate and tends to flake, it can still be pinned and filleted without any major problems. If eaten raw, it has a more delicate flavour, which becomes more intense with cooking. An excellent recipe to prepare with raw croaker is ceviche, which involves marinating raw fish in lemon juice or other citrus fruits, along with some spices (including chilli pepper, which is a must!). At Il Piccolo Mondo, which has a vast menu of seafood from the Lazio coast, you can enjoy, among other appetizers, a delicate ceviche of croaker with lime and red onions.
The croaker can be cooked in different ways: in foil, in a stew, baked, roasted, boiled, always making sure that it does not dry out too much. It has an extremely pleasant taste and can be seasoned with salt, extra virgin olive oil and vegetables. Being a fish mainly caught during the winter, it can be prepared, for example, together with seasonal vegetables such as pumpkin and artichokes. At Il Piccolo Mondo you can enjoy an inviting croaker with pumpkin cream and artichokes among the main courses, appreciating the authentic taste of seasonal vegetables with excellent fish.
If you love fish and good food, Il Piccolo Mondo is the restaurant for you. We are waiting for you!
For reservations please contact us at 06 42016034.