One of the things I look forward to the most when camping is eating fire grilled fish. The best thing about this way of cooking fish is that it can be done at home on your fire pit or in the BBQ.
FISH FOR BREAKFAST?
This recipe represents all the good things of my childhood. When I was a little girl, we had a fishing camp in the Valin mountains in Saguenay, QC.
The first thing I would do in the morning, after waking up, would be to put on my coat over my pyjamas and run out to the dock. I would cast my line in the hopes of catching breakfast.
It may sound weird to you, but a little trout in flour, grilled a cast iron pan with bacon and onions, was served as breakfast as often as supper in my house. This recipe of fire grilled fish remains my favorite way to eat trout.
CAN YOU COOK FISH OVER A FIRE?
The simple answer is yes. You can most definitely cook fish over a fire. But you have to keep in my mind that there are several ways to get fire grilled fish.
- Directly over the fire on a stick
- In the fire wrapped in foil
- In the fire on top of a log (I cook a great salmon on a log!)
- Over the fire trapped between 2 grids (grilling fish basket)
- In a cast iron pan over the fire (see recipe below)
The great thing about cooking fish over fire is that it cooks fast and it tastes great!
WHICH FISH IS BEST FOR GRILLING?
Depending on where you live you can pretty much eat any type of fish. That being said, make sure that the water where you are fishing is not contaminated. Whether it’s fresh water or salt water, the water has to be good.
My typical rule of thumb is that I cook my fresh water fish longer than my salt water fish. The reason is quite simple: a fish caught in a lake where the water has a tendency to be more still than the ocean, could have some unwanted traveler inside it…
I will not get into details but make sure that you can actually fish in the location that you are.
My two favorite fish to eat grilled are trout and red snapper.
FIRE GRILLED FISH CAMPING OR AT HOME
When camping always take the time to cast your line. The gentle waves hitting the dock, the breeze, the hope of feeling that nibble, the pride of taking out a fish.
Fishing is one of my favorite forms of active meditation with, as a bonus, the prospect of a meal. There is no better fish than a freshly caught fish.
Until I was sixteen the only fish I ate was fish I had caught. I must admit that I was more than disappointed the day I bought and ate a store bought fish.
But in any case, if you are lucky enough to have caught fish here are a few pointers for fire grilled fish.
- Bigger is better. If you have the option, choose a big fish for several, rather than a small one per person. The skin will hold better, will be crispier and the cooking will be easier to control.
- Once the beast is cleaned, make large diagonal incisions every 2 inches (5 cm) to the spine, on both sides. This helps to achieve a more even cooking from head to tail.
- Brush the entire exterior of the fish with olive oil. Then put some oil on the preheated grill.
- Turn the fish once. If it shows resistance to the flip it’s not ready to turn just yet.
HOW TO COOK FISH IN FOIL ON FIRE?
In my opinion the easiest way to cook fish is in foil also called à la papillotte. Much more forgiving than fire grilled fish.
In foil certainly less attractive but makes an excellent steamed fish. Because that’s what you are actually doing, you are steaming the fish.
I like to place slices of lemon and onion (or leeks) below, above and inside my fish, a dash of white wine, salt and pepper. We fold the foil around the fish leaving a little opening so the steam can’t get out. And you can put that directly in the fire pit tucked away in a corner.
It takes anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes depending on the size of the fish.
Another way to steam fish is in salt but we will not get into that!
Below you will find a great recipe for fire grilled fish, or at least pan fire grilled fish!
FIRE GRILLED TROUT
- 1 cast iron pan
- 4 small to medium fresh trout the fresher the better
- 4 slices bacon diced
- 2 onions chopped
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- pepper from mill
- Clean the trout if freshly caught.
- Start by cooking your bacon. Set aside.
- In the bacon fat, caramelize the onions. Set aside.
- Put salt and pepper in the flour. Mix together.
- Roll the trout in the flour so to have a lightly coated fish.
- Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the cast iron pan and grill your fish on both sides. Figure about 8 minutes per side.
- Serve on a bed of onions and bacon. ENJOY!