Nisetru la gratar in the Romanian language, or Grilled Black Sea Sturgeon in English, is a firm textured fish with a delicate fish flavour, popular with fish lovers the world over.
Sturgeons are a rare find in UK waters and are classed as ‘royal fish,’ a title given by King Edward II, which decrees that any sturgeon caught in UK waters must be offered to the monarch first before any more action is taken.However, the Black Sea sturgeon remains popular among Romanians for its beautiful flavour, and simple cooking style. If you ever find yourself in Romania, I highly suggest giving this simply meal a try. The thought of cooking a 30-year-old bottom feeder is not to everyone’s liking, but the fish lovers amongst you are in for a treat.
Before cooking sturgeon, it is extremely important to wash the fish well with cold water, and to remove all the intestines.
Some people also prefer to remove the fat and skin to reduce any toxicity that may be present in sturgeons from more polluted waters.
First of all, lay the sturgeon out in front of you and cut the fish into short thick slices.
It is important to get the right marinating sauce for the sturgeon, to bring out, but not overpower the flavour. The usual suggestion is a mixture of olive oil, white vinegar, lemon rind, salt, pepper and oregano; there are some variations but I find, like the sturgeon, the old ones are always the best.
I advise creating quite a bit of the marinating sauce, as many people like to drizzle a fair amount over their sturgeon at the end as well.
Once the marinating sauce is ready, place the sturgeon slices in a bowl and pour over the sauce so the fish is well covered, then cover the bowl and leave to marinate for 1 hour.
Once the fish is well marinated, heat a grill pan and grill the sturgeon, making sure to brown both sides carefully.
Finally, serve the sturgeon piece while they are still hot, with a wedge of lemon, and a bowl of the marinating sauce for condiments.