Tuesday, December 28, 2010

RECIPE - Mullet with beans (Tainha cozida no feijão)

This recipe from the state of Santa Catarina features tainha (mullet) which abounds in the waters off that state during the winter months of May and June. It's an easy recipe, although it does take some time because it uses dried beans. As with many other fish recipes, it can easily be adapted to whatever species of fish is available in your region. Just pick a firm-fleshed fish that can be bought in steaks (postas in Portuguese). This is not a dish for fillets of fish, nor for fish that flake easily, like cod or sole. Halibut isn't available here in Brazil, but I think that halibut steaks would make an admirable substitute for the Brazilian tainha. If you live near tropical or temperate waters, for example in Florida, you should be able to find mullet in your local fish markets.
RECIPE - Mullet with beans (Tainha cozida no feijão)
Serves 4

1 1/2 cup dried beans - white navy, pinto or black
2 Tbsp. neutral vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt to taste
8 cups (2l) water
2 lbs (1 kg) mullet or other white fish, cut into steaks
1/3 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
The night before soak the beans in plenty of water, at room temperature, for 12 hours.

The next day, in a large heavy saucepan, heat the oil, then add the onion and garlic and sauté until they are transparent by not browned. Add the beans and 4 cups (1l) water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook until the water is absorbed. Add the remaining 4 cups (1l) water and continue to cook the beans over low heat for approximately 40 minutes, or until the beans are tender.

Season the fish steaks with salt, carefully add the steaks to the cooked beans, mix in the parsley and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked but not falling apart.

Serve immediately accompanied by white rice.

Translated and adapted from Cozinha Regional Brasileira by Abril Editora


  1. Mullet with beans is one of the famous Brazilian dish. I never had tasted nor tried it but I have heard a lot about this dish. I will surely try it someday.

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