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Koutsomoures Savoro (Red Mullets with Savoro Sauce)

Koutsomoures Savoro (Red Mullets with Savoro Sauce)

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Savoro, which means sour, is a sauce which my mother used to make whenever we had fried fish such as striped red red mullets (μπαρμπούνι), red mullets (κουτσομούρα) or other fish like bogue (γόπαetc.  The combination of vinegar and rosemary is a method they used to preserve food back when there were no refrigerators.

Dendrolivano rosemary image

Whenever we had fried fish, she would always make more so that we could have leftovers, to make savoro, which was a delicious mezes.

Savoro, which probably has its roots from the Venetian dish “Pesse in saor”, is a dish also found in the Ionian Islands as, like Cyprus, they were also under Venetian rule.

koutsomoures mullet image

 

The classic Cypriot version of savoro as I remember it from my mother was that she would use the leftover oil after frying the fish to make a thick tomato sauce, with which she would cover the fish.

collage savoro me koutsomoures image

 

Koutsomoures Savoro (Red Mullets with Savoro Sauce)

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time:  30 minutes

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 12 medium sized mullets, about 700 grams (1.5 lbs)
  • ½ cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled and blended
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • ½ cup wine vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil for frying the fish
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ½ cup stock or water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Ask the fish monger to scale and gut the fish, wash and salt them in a strainer.
  2. Mix the flour with some salt and coat the fish.  Heat the olive oil (at least 1 cm) in a non stick frying pan and fry the fish on both sides but do not add too many fish so that they get a crispy crust.  Remove them in a heat proof vessel, preferably a Pyrex and continue with remaining.
  3. When done, remove most of the oil and keep just enough to wet the frying pan and add the garlic.   Sauté for a few minutes and then add 2 tablespoons of leftover flour and mix to make a roux.  Add the vinegar, rosemary, bay leaves and mix and finally the tomato, water, salt and pepper.  Keep mixing until the sauce thickens.
  4. Pour the sauce on top of the fish to cover them and serve immediately.
  5. Leftover can be refrigerated covered in the sauce for a few days.
Koutsomoures Savoro (Red Mullets with Savoro Sauce)

Koutsomoures Savoro (Red Mullets with Savoro Sauce)

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 12 medium sized mullets, about 700 grams (1.5 lbs)
  • ½ cup of all purpose flour
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled and blended
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • ½ cup wine vinegar
  • 1 cup olive oil for frying the fish
  • 3 bay leaves
  • ½ cup stock or water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Ask the fish monger to scale and gut the fish, wash and salt them in a strainer.
  2. Mix the flour with some salt and coat the fish.  Heat the olive oil (at least 1 cm) in a non stick frying pan and fry the fish on both sides but do not add too many fish so that they get a crispy crust.  Remove them in a heat proof vessel, preferably a Pyrex and continue with remaining.
  3. When done, remove most of the oil and keep just enough to wet the frying pan and add the garlic.   Sauté for a few minutes and then add 2 tablespoons of leftover flour and mix to make a roux.  Add the vinegar, rosemary, bay leaves and mix and finally the tomato, water, salt and pepper.  Keep mixing until the sauce thickens.
  4. Pour the sauce on top of the fish to cover them and serve immediately.
  5. Leftover can be refrigerated covered in the sauce for a few days.

Did you make this recipe?

Tried this recipe? Tag me @ivyliac and use the hashtag #kopiaste!

This and many more Cypriot recipes ares included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste as well as in Volume 1 of the e-cookbook.

Kopiaste kai Kali Orexi!!

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