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preparing my sea bass at favorite Mahaneh Yehuda shuk stall

I always avoided a particular fish stall in the Mahaneh Yehuda Shuk because there were always a few people waiting, sometimes even a crowd for service.  Also the ice tank the fish are placed in drips constantly on your feet as you wait. Being a bit sensitive to suffering, often the fish were still visibly flopping around in there. I once even heard a customer say as he observed another brave guy have his fish wrapped in newspaper to take it home whole, “Look, its still kicking”!

Big mistake which I have now corrected.  The owner/manager (not pictured here) who seemed a little gruff from a distance turned out to be a soft heart inside who likes to practice his English (hearing my accented Hebrew) and always gives me a discount per kilo no matter what I buy. Always respectful, he even calls me “yalda” (girl) which is a complement since I am no doubt older than he is.  Never mind, his fish and discounts already won my loyalty.

Since the days of fishing with my Grandfather in the lakes of Wisconsin, I learned there is nothing like the taste and texture of fresh fish, especially if you dont have to clean and kill them.

My choice last visit was with a plan to create a simple breaded fried seabass with a cajun spice mix in the breading. You can buy your own cajun spice (be sure MSG free!!!!) or try mine.

Cajun spice mix:

1 tsp. black pepper

1/2 tsp. yellow mustard powder

2 tsp. of paprika, smoked or sweet, hot or mild, choose your favorite I like hot Spanish

1 tsp cayenne

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. dried oregano1 tsp. dried thyme

1 tsp. salt

prepared Cajun breaded Mediterranean sea bass

Breading: 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup plain unadulterated breadcrumbs with two tablespoons of Cajun spice. Cajun is spicy, if you prefer milder cut the amount of spice down.

Prep for fish: Make an egg wash with one whipped egg. In a frying pan prepare some olive oil heated with butter to cover the bottom of your frying pan. Make sure its hot enough so the breading will stick to the fish not the pan, but don’t allow it to burn. Dip sea bass in egg wash, then roll in breading. Fry carefully and quickly, thin filets cook fast.  Time: super fast, less than ten minutes. I used this amount for 6 small filets.