SERVES 4 (FAST): Mayonnaise helps the lemony coating adhere to the bluefish fillets and a little sugar speeds up the browning.
WHY THIS RECIPE WORKS Bluefish is a fatty, firm-fleshed fish that is especially popular in Turkey. We wanted a bluefish recipe that was supereasy and resulted in fillets with assertive but not overpowering flavor. Buying the freshest fish was of the utmost importance, since the longer bluefish sits on ice, the more pronounced its “fishy” flavor becomes. We used a coating of bold, floral preserved lemon, garlic, and mayonnaise to stand up to the oiliness of the bluefish and paired it with vibrant green zhoug, an Israeli hot sauce made from fresh herbs and chiles. The mayonnaise helped the preserved lemon cling to the fillets while they cooked, and a little sugar helped the fish brown quickly under the broiler. The gray-brown flesh of bluefish turns white once it is cooked through. Mackerel is a good substitute for bluefish. If you can’t find preserved lemons, you can make your own (see here).
- 4 (4- to 6-ounce) skinless bluefish fillets, 1 to 1½ inches thick
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ preserved lemon, pulp and white pith removed, rind rinsed and minced (1 tablespoon)
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ cup Green Zhoug
- Lemon wedges
- Adjust oven rack 4 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Pat bluefish dry with paper towels, season with salt and pepper, and place skinned side down in greased rimmed baking sheet.
- Combine mayonnaise, preserved lemon, garlic, and sugar in bowl, then spread mixture evenly on tops of fillets. Broil until bluefish flakes apart when gently prodded with paring knife and registers 140 degrees, about 5 minutes. Serve with Green Zhoug and lemon wedges.