Jan 28, 2014

A'u – Shortbill Spearfish

A'u – Shortbill Spearfish
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A'u is the Hawaiian word for Shortbill Spearfish. Its dorsal fin is shorter than that of other billfish species, and its bill is very short in comparison. A'u caught in Hawaiian waters are usually between 20 and 40 pounds in weight.

A'u has an amber colored flesh that turns white when cooked. It is somewhat softer and more delicate than that of Nairagi or Kajiki. Its flavor is mild (although more pronounced than ahi tuna). It is one of several species of billfish, which are suitable for grilled or broiled "catch of the day" menu items in restaurants.


All Hawaii spearfish are line-caught. Longline boats that set hooks in deep water harvest most of the spearfish catch in Hawaii. However, spearfish are also caught by trollers using lures and baits. It is available year round here in Hawaii although more abundantly in the summer months.
A'u Steaks from Friendly Market on Moloka'i
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Hawaii Spearfish is an excellent source of healthy, extra lean protein. It is also low in saturated fat and low in sodium. It is rich in niacin, vitamin B12, phosphorus and selenium. Hawaii Spearfish is a good source of vitamin B6 and iodine. Hawaii Spearfish also provides about 350 mg of omega-3’s (DHA and EPA) per 4 ounce serving of fresh fish.

Recipes:
Butter Broiled A'u with Lime, Tomatoes, Garlic and Basil
I love to broil fish, it always turns out well, and it's very easy to do, A'u is also excellent served raw in poke or simply sliced and served as sashimi with soy sauce and wasabi with a touch of sesame oil for a dipping sauce.
Butter Broiled A'u with Lime, Tomatoes, Garlic and Basil

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, divided
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
3 Roma tomatoes, cut into bite-size pieces
8 to 10 large fresh basil leaves, chopped (from Kumu Farms here on Moloka'i)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper
1 1/2 pounds, 8 A'u steaks
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 lime cut into quarters for garnish
fresh basil tips for garnish

Procedure:
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place the butter and minced garlic in a small skillet over medium-low heat. When the butter is melted, stir in the cut tomatoes, basil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Just before the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to melt, then turn off the heat.

Arrange the A'u steaks in a baking dish or in a large oven safe skillet that has the olive oil on the bottom. Bake the fish for about 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Turn fish, and continue baking 5 minutes more. Now pour the tomato mixture over the fish and return the baking dish to the oven for 3 minutes more. Remove the fish to serving plates. Spoon the tomato mixture over the fish to serve. Garnish with lime wedges and basil sprigs. Serve with brown rice and Parmesan roasted zucchini. Makes 4 servings.
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