Fish is an extremely versatile food that you can make a lot with – bake it or fry it, put it in a gravy or create something exotic out of it, fish dishes are without exception palatable and nutritious. Protamine, a special kind of protein contained in fish, is a very high-class protein. In addition to that, the several salts and minerals contained in fish are very beneficial to the human body. So once you've caught your fill, it's time to cook up your catch. Here are a few fish recipes that have stood the test of time.
One of the simplest dishes that you make out of your fresh catch involves cutting the fish into flat, thin pieces. Add some salt and vinegar and marinate for an hour. Then simply fry the pieces three or four at a time in a deep pan for a few minutes. Serve hot with some vegetable sauces on the side. If you happen to have some turmeric powder in your stock, add a bit of that before marinating to impart a distinct oriental taste and flavor to it, to say nothing of a livid yellow color that is guaranteed to amuse any children you might have with you!
That was a quick-and-easy hack, designed for painless camp-style cooking. If you're feeling inclined to put in more effort, try this fry. Whip up a couple of eggs until they're frothy. Add onion and garlic paste (approximately equal to two onions and a garlic) and beat the mixture some more. Add salt to taste. Cut four strips of fillet (if you need more fillets, vary the other ingredients according to ratio) out of any variety of sparsely boned fish – the brown trout, for example, or sturgeon – about three inches by two inches each. Dip each fillet in the paste, and then roll it in a bed of hard, crispy bread crumbs. Heat up a bit of oil and deep-fry the crumb-coated pieces till they turn golden brown. Sprinkle black pepper powder, serve hot with onion salad and mustard.
People in the west of Europe have a similar method for walleye. Fillets of walleye are dipped in an egg batter, rolled in a waffle mix and deep-fried in vegetable oil. This 'battered walleye', as it is called, is especially popular in Belgium.
If you've been catching steelheads or salmon, you might try grilling them. Cut ½-inch pieces out of the fish, but don't skin them. Mix in some garlic powder, salt, lemon and black pepper powder with the fish. Let it stand for a few hours. Coat a large piece of aluminum foil with a medium-thick layer of butter. Put the fish mixture in, fold and put on the griller. Grill for 5 to 6 minutes on both sides. Remove the foil and serve hot with French fries. A popular south Asian variant of this dish recommends adding bits of green pepper and/or some red chili powder to the marination. Try it that way if you dare!
Here's an exotic and aromatic formula from the east of India, one of the greatest fish-eating nations on earth! This involves Indian spices, so you'll have to wait till you're back in the city before you can venture on this one.
Deep-fry four large squarish pieces of any freshwater fish in about six tablespoonfuls of mustard oil. For that authentic Eastern color and flavor, add a pinch of turmeric powder before frying. Make a paste out of about two teaspoonfuls of whole cumin. Also paste a gram of cinnamon sticks, 2 whole cardamoms, four or five sun-dried red chillis and half a dozen cloves. Heat up four more tablespoonfuls of mustard oil and put in the pastes. Stir-fry the whole thing till the aroma fills your home! Then add the fish, and let the whole thing broil in its own juice for a few minutes. Then add two cups of water and cover the pan for 15 minutes. Remove and serve hot. Best enjoyed with boiled rice, Indian style.