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What’s on the menu

Posted by Silverback on 06 November 2007 at 12:43 PM

Preparing your catch

All too often you focus on the upcoming trip and take little time to prepare for what may be a very successful trip with several fish in the deep-freeze needing attention.

Some things to take into account before leaving on your trip. How much reliable freezer space do you have (how many fish can you really use). Have you thought of how you will be transporting your catch? I live about 600km from the sea. That means at least 6 hours in the African sun. Man do fish stink and you would be surprised to hear that the fishy smell that is left in your car can be almost impossible to get rid of. The scouts have a great motto: “Be prepared”:

1. Sharp knife for cleaning fish. Do this well out to sea and not on the beach. Most beach users do not like various bits of fish guts washing around them while they take a swim!
2. Plastic bags. I just remove the guts and gills then put each fish in its own bag before freezing.
3. Freeze. Try to get your catch frozen and keep it frozen until you intend using it (freezer on site and cooler box for transport). Should it defrost en route home, it will keep for about 3 days in a fridge. If you have a disaster and several fish have defrosted, give some away (most people enjoy fresh fish, take a little time to explain how to best enjoy the fish) and prepare to eat fish for the next couple of days.

This is a nice and easy way to prepare your catch and it seems to do justice to just about any fish. Completely defrost your catch. Skin it (then you do not need to worry about scales flying all over the wife’s kitchen - a sure passion killer). I find that it is easier to skin one side then fillet that side before moving to the other side. For a good supper you need to be looking at about 300grams of fish per person, each fillet should not be much more than 1cm thick. Beat an egg. Mix 1 cup of self raising flower with 1 tablespoon each of pepper, salt and fish spice (any will do). Heat some olive oil in a pan, enough to cover each fish fillet. Place each fillet in the egg then into the flour/spice (generous coating of both on both sides of fillet) and into the oil (smoking hot). Cook for about 1.5 minutes each side. Fillets should be golden brown and crispy on the edges. Drain off some of the oil by leaving fillets on brown paper or clean cardboard. Serve hot with some tartare sauce and lemon juice. Absolutely delicious! My thanks to Trifonix, a great flyfisher, friend and cook who introduced me to this recipe.

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