When I first arrived here Omar bought a huge catfish which effectively fed the entire house, all 20 people!!! It was huge! Once bought it was brought into the garden and prepared by Amer, Omar’s older brother.
Everyone sat around and watched it being prepared. I had never eaten catfish before so this would be new experience! I knew that they were ‘bottom-feeders’, eating food from the mud at the bottom of the Nile, so how would this meat taste?
Amer began by cutting the head off …
…and then cutting it into steaks. ‘
Lots of steak!!! It looks good but I wondered how it would taste. Its a very red meat and reminded me of Tuna but I would wait and see…
Mother’ had a bowl of clean water ready to wash the steaks before it was taken away for cooking. It was a family event.
Once washed and dried it was taken indoors and cooked by the experts!! After a couple of hours wait upstairs there was a knock at the door and there was our tagine!
It looked delicious!!! It tasted good too but once cooked I found it to a very ‘fatty’ fish. The texture, when it is cooked this way, is ‘interesting’ and I wasn’t sure I liked it. But the red meat part was really good!!! There were lots of onions in it, making a a really good tomato and onion sauce, nearly like caramelised onions. Perfect for dipping bread into, Egyptian-style.
Later on in the evening we were given some raw meat steaks too and the following day Omar fried it dipped in flour and spices and that was really good!!! A little like Kentucky fried catfish!!! It kept us going for days.
I definitely prefer it fried to tagined!!!
Doing some research on Nile Catfish I found that they have been eating them for thousands of years. And they were even mummified and given as offerings to the dead.
During Pharaonic times catfish and Mullet were the staple fish and were eaten boiled, roasted, pickled or dried in the sun. The Amun temple was given 441.000 fresh fish according to the Harris papyrus, which is the longest papyrus in existence and covers the Ramesses lV period.
I will look for some catfish recipes and see what I can find and I might even buy another one and give it a go…