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Aljotta recipe, make your own Maltese traditional fish soup

Being Malta a devoutly Catholic country, Alijotta is very popular during Lent, when one could not eat meat.
In line with the rustic and frugal Maltese cuisine, this soup requires the whole fish—head and tail included—in order to add flavor to the soup.

Ingredients to make your own Aljotta:

     800g small fish (traditionally rock fish, substitutes include halibut, flounder and snapper) cleaned and cut into 4 pieces
     8 cups water (and a fish stock cube if available)
     pepper & salt
     1 chopped onion
     bay leaf
     3 cloves of garlic, chopped
     mint, fresh if available
     2 tablespoons oil
     2 lemons (one for juice one for decoration)
    100 gms. white rice
     6 tomatoes

Don't worry, it's not hard to prepare Aljotta:

Fry the choped onion and garlic and fry in oil until soft and golden. Slice the tomatoes and add them together with the herbs and enough water (with or without fish stock cube) to make the soup. Bring the mixture to boil and then add the fish. Cook slowly until the fish meat is white and soft.
Take fish out from the soup, allow it to cool a bit, and remove head, tail, skin, and bones.
Strain the remaining mixture without throwing away the strained liquid. Put it on the stove and use it to cook the rice. Bring to boil and cook until the rice is soft to your taste. Put the fish pieces back in the soup.
Add a squeeze of lemon and serve hot with lemon wedges and parsley as garnish.

View our list more tasty Maltese specialities such as Pastizzi and Bragioli!