This post might not be for everyone, but for seafood lovers out there, there is nothing better than a fresh fish on the braai. I have never really seen the process that goes behind a freshly caught fish, I usually get mine from the supermarket in a box. This was until Don, Shane’s father, caught a few fresh ones during the summer holidays. I attentively watched the scaling and gutting from the side, holding a plastic bag out with my pinkies in hopes I didn’t get splashed with the juices. It dawned on me, that if my sole survival on this planet depended on my ability to catch my own food and prep it myself, I would probably wither away or have to suck up my girly antics and get on with business.
I have tried fishing once or twice in my life and can’t say I am any good at it. I almost caught a fish, a stick or a boot (I never actually got to see what it was). Shane and I took his family boat out to Inanda Dam and sat casting and reeling for most of the day. We heard the odd fish plop around us but nothing was actually hooking on for a fight, all until I felt a few tugs. The moment it happened I screamed, “I’ve got something, I’ve got something!”, and simultaneously forgot how to fish. It was probably the poorest effort Shane has ever witnessed from anybody trying to land a fish. I was bent over, shaking, barely able to reel, pulling the rod backwards as if I was playing a game of tug of war with a shark or a whale! It wasn’t long until I managed to reel back with ease, as whatever I had caught escaped! What a fail! I guess that fish-whale-shark-boot-stick will always be the one that got away…
Although I would like to be holding a line with a heavy weight dangling on the end for a picture, or to have caught a big one for an afternoon braai, I must say that I am lucky enough to have ‘providers’. Fish on the braai has a rustic feel about it. When prepping the whole fish you can get as creative as you want or put the bare minimum on and still experience a tasty dish. See how Shane prepped the Rock cod for our Saturday lunch and experience a whole new taste for seafood. If you are expecting it to smack of the sea and be full of bones, you will be pleasantly surprised as the flesh falls off the bones and the smell and taste is nothing like you would expect.
Dive into this rustic dish and share with seafood lovers.
Whole Rock cod
1 Fresh lemon
1 Big tomato
1 Big onion
Salt and pepper
Place a big piece of tinfoil on the counter (shiny side up).
Place whole fish on the tinfoil and create two incisions on both sides, starting close to the fin.
Slice the fresh lemon, onion and tomato.
Place a slice of lemon, onion and tomato in each incision and sprinkle some crushed garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.
Wrap and cover the entire fish in tinfoil and place on a medium heat braai for 20 minutes.
Serve with lemon wedges and freshly fried homemade chips.