Dogfish with fennel, red bell peppers and tomatoes combined into a delicious stew. The addition of olives, oregano and basil will give it a definite Mediterranean twist.
I love to experiment with new ingredients, so when I found fresh dogfish at my local fish monger I decided to give it a go. The result was a delicious Mediterranean flavoured fish stew with lots of veggies. I learned that dogfish, with its beautiful sweet flavour, is a very easy fish to prepare a flavourful meal with. Dogfish, also known as scyliorhinus canicula, is a small-spotted catshark or lesser-spotted dogfish and has no bones but only a skeleton of cartilage which makes it easy to cook and eat. The skin of the dogfish is very difficult to remove, which is why it is normally sold skinned. The dogfish has the appearance of an eel, but it in fact belongs to the shark species.
Ingredients to make Mediterranean dog fish stew
Note: All the exact quantities of the ingredients can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Dogfish: I used fresh dogfish fillets from the fish monger. I have no experience cooking this recipe with frozen dogfish. I have used 500 grams (17 1/2 ounces) which should be sufficient for 2 servings. Make sure the dogfish is already skinned.
- Fennel bulbs: Fennel pairs really well with all kinds of fish including this dog fish. Fennel has an anise-like flavour, which changes into a more sweet taste once cooked. Use only the white part of the fennel. The fennel green can be used as garnish.
- Red bell pepper: The red bell pepper has a nice sweet taste which is why I have used it in this recipe. Feel free to use the green or yellow one if you prefer, or a combination of the various colours. In my opinion, the red bell pepper combines the best with the overall taste in this dog fish stew with fennel.
- Red onion: Red onions have a sweeter taste than regular onions, which is why I prefer using red onions with fish.
- Cocktail tomatoes: Use a handful of cocktail tomatoes in the stew without cutting them. I wanted to make the fennel and peppers shine in this recipe without turning it into a tomato stew. When the tomatoes are added to the stew at the end of the cooking, the skin will only slightly burst and just a bit of the juice will mix in with the stew bringing out just the right amount of tomato flavour.
- Olives: I’ve used black olives, but green olives will also work perfectly well.
- Seasoning: Use any kind of Mediterranean herbs that you should have in your pantry such as oregano, basil, rosemary, sage or marjoram to bring out the best Mediterranean flavours.
How to make Mediterranean stewed dogfish
Cut the dogfish in 7 cm whole chunks (or 2 3/4 inches). The fish does not have any bones but instead has a cartilage skeleton which is very easy to cut through. Season the fish fillets with salt and pepper. Add olive oil into a frying pan and cook the fish on high heat for 2 minutes on each side. Remove the fish from the pan and set aside.
Slice the onion in half moons. Cut the red bell pepper in half, remove the seeds and white membrane and cut into thin slices. Take the fennel bulb, remove the hard core at the bottom and the green part at the top. Cut the bulb lengthwise in half and cut into thin slices.
In the same frying pan (after removing the half cooked fish) add a tablespoon of olive oil and fry the minced garlic, onion, fennel and pepper slices for 10 minutes on medium heat. While the veggies are frying, add the dried oregano and basil, season with salt and pepper to taste then add the white wine vinegar. After 10 minutes of frying, add some water and place the fish pieces, cocktail tomatoes, olives and rosemary sprig on top of the veggies. Let everything simmer on low heat for 15 minutes so the fish is now completely cooked.
How to serve dogfish with fennel, peppers and tomatoes
The dogfish should be served right after cooking to prevent the fish from overcooking while sitting too long in the warm stew. Garnish with fresh dill and fennel greens on top.
This dogfish stew can be served with various side dishes. It goes really well with rice, mashed potatoes or these grilled rosemary potatoes.
More fennel recipes to try:
Mediterranean dogfish stew with fennel, peppers and tomatoes
- 500 g (17 ½ ounces) Dogfish cut in fillets of 7 cm or 2 ¾ inch
- 1 fennel bulb finely sliced
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and finely sliced
- 1 red onion finely sliced in half moons
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon black olives pitted
- 6 cocktail tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 100 ml water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- freshly ground pepper
- dried oregano
- dried basil
- 1 rosemary sprig
- Cut the fish in chunks of 5 cm (or 2 inches). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice the onion in half moons. Seed the bell pepper and slice finely. Remove the hard bottom of the fennel bulb. Cut in half and finely slice the fennel. Remove the green part.
- Put a non-stick frying pan on high heat and add the olive oil. Brown the pieces of fish on both sides for 2 minutes each side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
- In the same frying pan, add the onions, garlic, peppers and fennel and fry on medium heat for 10 minutes. In the meantime, season with salt, pepper, the dried oregano and basilicum and add the white wine vinegar. After 10 minutes, add water.
- Add the fish on top of the veggies, together with the cocktail tomatoes and olives. Simmer for 15 minutes so the fish is now completely cooked. Serve with fennel greens and fresh dill.
- Replace the black olives with green olives according to taste or availability.
- Red bell peppers have a nice sweet flavour. Replace with green or yellow peppers according to personal taste or mix the various colour. I prefer the red pepper in this recipe due to its taste.
- Feel free to be creative with other Mediterranean herbs. You can add marjoram, thyme or sage according to personal taste. I prefer to just use rosemary, oregano and basil.
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