Fish has always been popular in Malta, being an island where fish is relatively easy to come by in its surrounding waters. You’ll be able to find all sorts of local fish served fresh daily in local restaurants, but there are specific types of fish that are traditionally more popular among the Maltese.
The first is Lampuka, (a species of dolphin fish also referred to as Mahi-mahi), which is caught seasonally and available as fresh catch during the period of 15th of August (the start date of Lampuki (plural) fishing season in Malta, also a public holiday) through to the end of December.
Although available as a fried fish, it’s pretty popularly served in pie form as well (Torta tal-Lampuki). Here is the recipe for this dish for you in both English and Maltese…
- 1Kg lampuki (1 kilo lampuki)
- 3 onions (3 basliet)
- 400g tomatoes (400 gramma tadam)
- 2kg boiled spinach (2 kilos spinaċi mgħolli)
- 100g tomato paste (100 gramma kunserva)
- 100g Chopped black olives (100 gramma żebbuġ iswed imqatta’)
- 50g capers (50 gramma kappar)
- Mint (minta)
- Seasoning (bżar u melħ)
- 500g puff pastry (500 gramma għaġina tat-torti)
- Flour (dqiq)
- Clean the fish, cut it into slices and roll in the seasoned flour. Naddaf il-ħut, qatta’ fi strixxi u iksi bid-dqiq imħallat mall-bżar u l-melħ.
- Fry the fish in hot oil until golden brown, allow to cool and remove bones. Aqli l-ħut fiż-żejt jagħli sakemm jieħu l-kulur, ħallih jiksaħ u neħħi x-xewk.
- Fry the chopped onions in same oil used to fry the fish, add tomatoes and simmer for around 15 mins on low heat. Qalli l-basal fl-istess żejt li qlejt il-ħut fih. Żid it-tadam u ħallih itektek għal madwar kwarta fuq nar baxx.
- Add all the remaining ingredients and cook over low heat for another 30 minutes. Żid l-ingredjenti li baqa’ u sajjar fuq nar baxx għal madwar 30 minuta.
- Add the fish to the mixture and mix well. Żid il-ħut mat-taħlita u ħawwad sew.
- Line a greased baking dish with the pastry and fill in with mixture, covering the top once filled. Dellek id-dixx li se tuża’ bi ftit butir, iftah l-għaġina u iksi d-dixx. Wara itfa’ l-mili u agħtti kollox bl-għaġina li jkun fadal.
- Pierce the top with a fork and bake until golden brown. Taqqab b’furketta l-wiċċ tal-għaġina u aħmi sakemm l-għaġina ssir u tieħu l-kulur.