Thursday, April 22, 2010

The fruits of someone else's labours

I've always had a big thing about catching my own fish, but as a learning curve this present from Jeremy (a local commercial seine netter and a good bloke who I met on the self-sufficiency community garden thing) does show me how it could be done.

From left to right that's mullet (mulgil cephalis, I think), garfish (Hyporhamphus melanochir) (2) 3 More mullet, Australian Salmon (Arripis trutta) (2) and yellowtail (Seriola lalandi (3) The Austalian Salmon and Yellowtail weigh about a kilogram each, in the round. You can see the freshness of these - barely a couple of hours out of the water. The eyes are bright and the gills were still deep, dark red.

On the board is a 'vlekked' mullet (gutted through the back to leave the belly intact for barbeque). Most of the islanders regard mullet and salmon barely fit for crayfish pot bait. Mind you they do like a bit of variety with their fish. They eat flathead, fried AND grilled. And if they feel like a change, there is flathead. As Mike (the local dive-master who was helping John put the new wood-burning heater in who is one of the most knowledgable people about fish and marine matters on the island) said there is also flake. And flathead. Trust me, the flathead is GOOD, and extremely so, but if, like us, you're eating seafood 28 days a month, variety is also good. And the tastes are different. Maybe not as good as flathead :-), but I hot-smoked a fillet of mullet then and there, and Mike did pronouce it edible (if not as good as flathead). John-boy would have eaten the lot and the table-top too if he hadn't been minding his manners. He said I done good with that. Much better than smoked mutton-bird!


  1. I've come up with the name for your book. "See Food...Eat It! Culinary Adventures in Fine Foraging by Dave Freer"

    During summers at my Grandmother's house every day we went either to the river or the bay. IF all we brought home was Virginia Mullet, then that's what we got.

  2. That is sort of what we are trying to do, but with the fixed idea that we WILL buy coffee and other necessities.

  3. That looks like a magnificent spread of fish....

  4. The tummy is rumbling already, and the smoker gearing up for its next load. Or should I say shaving?