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3 Easy Campfire Recipes With Your Catch of The Day
Nothing like the feeling of reeling in a monster of a catch and thinking of how many ways you’re going to eat the poor bastard.
Not only do you get to enjoy the fruits of your labour in several different ways, you also get to share it with friends and family around a campfire. It doesn’t get any better than that.
But before we reveal some of the tastiest and easiest ways to serve up your fish, you’re going to need to scale, gut and clean it first.
First, the fish preparation basics
How to scale a fish
Scaling a fish is a messy but fairly easy job to do and with our quick and simple guide on how to scale a fish, you’ll be cooking up a storm in no time at all.
Scrap the scales
Hold the fish firmly by the tail and using a fish scaler or the back of a knife, run the knife from tail to head and begin scraping away the scales in a stroking motion.
- Rinse the fish
Give the fish a good rinse to wash away any scales.
And that’s it! Onto gutting.
How to gut a fish
5 steps to gut a fish
Scale the fish
Make sure you’ve scaled the fish with the method mentioned above.
Cut into the fish
Using your knife, cut into the fish starting at the tail end and slice through the skin all the way to the head.
Remove the guts
Here comes the fun part — stick ya fingers in and remove all the guts, roe and gills. They should come out fairly easily.
Wash the fish
Give the fish a really good wash and rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear. This step is especially important in ensuring the fish is completely cleaned, ready to be cooked and eaten.
The final touch
Cut the fins off and pat down the fish with paper towels.
And there you have it. Your catch of the day is now primed and ready to be cooked.
Let’s get cooking.
Recipe 1: Stuffed trout cooked in foil
Serves: 4 Cook time: 7-10 minutes
Stuffed fish parcels work with practically any fish be it salmon, tuna, trout or flathead and is by far the easiest way to cook your catch. Why? Because all you need is foil, hot coals and a hole in the ground. Of course, you can flavour the fish to your liking with some basic seasoning.
- 4 trouts, scaled and gutted. Removing the heads is optional but not necessary.
- ¼ teaspoon of salt & pepper and paprika for flavouring
- 4 tablespoons of butter
- 1 medium green capsicum, sliced
- 1 clove of crushed garlic
- 1 lemon, sliced
- Place each trout onto a piece of aluminum foil and season with salt, pepper and paprika.
- Stuff a tablespoon of butter, some green capsicum, slices of lemon and garlic inside the cavity of the fish where it was sliced during the gutting process.
- Wrap the trout in the rest of the foil, completely enclosed. Dig a tiny hole in the ground and placed the fish parcels in and cover them with smouldering hot coals from your campfire and allow it to cook for 7-10 minutes.
- Remove the hot coals, careful not to burn yourself and lift the fish parcels out. Open up the foil and squeeze a bit of lemon juice and bon appetit!
Tip: To ensure your fish is well protected from any accidental tears wrap it in 2 layers of foil.
Recipe 2: Grilled fish skewers your way
Serves: As many as you can make with your catch! Cook time: No more than 2 minutes
Grilled skewers are one of the easiest recipes to make on a campfire which requires minimal cookware. They are definitely a crowd pleaser and can be customised anyway you like, whether it’s simply loaded with the fish you caught or randomised with scallops, prawns and other seafoods. Here’s what you’ll need —
- Flat skewers, round ones will just spin and roll around when you try to rotate them.
- Metal tongs, easier to reposition skewers
- Folding grill or grate
- Heat resistant gloves, for easier cooking around a campfire
- Cooking oil brush
Ingredients (for sizing — imagine everything is going to be skewered!)
- Catch of the day diced into small chunks
- Capsicum cut into pieces
- 1 Zucchini sliced
- 1 Onion sliced
- Salt & pepper, paprika
- 1 scallion chopped
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- Olive oil
- Tartar sauce if you’ve got a hankering
Soy and ginger sauce
- ¼ cup of soy sauce
- 3 tbsp of mirin
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1tsp sesame oil
- 1-2 medium garlic cloves finely chopped
- 3 tsp freshly grated ginger
Whisk everything in a bowl to create sauce.
Before you go ahead and start skewering, if you’re using wooden skewers make sure to have pre soaked the in water for 30minutes prior to cooking.
- Season the fish with salt & pepper and paprika
- Skewer a randomised assortment of fish, onion, scallion, capsicum and zucchini.
- Brush on some olive oil using the cooking brush
- Place onto folding grill or grate over the campfire
- Allow to cook for no more than 2 minutes
And voila! Dip into the soy and ginger sauce above if you made it or simply enjoy it with a squirt of lemon juice.
Recipe 3: Seafood paella
Serves: 2 Cooking time: 30 minutes
Who doesn’t love a good paella? Best of all it’s so simple to make. All you have to do is chuck all the ingredients into a pot, close the lid and let it simmer for a moment or 2 and bob’s ya uncle.
However, the trick to cooking a mean paella over a campfire is setting up the actual cooking station. If you’re using a stainless steel or aluminium pot or pan to cook in you’ll need to suspend it over the fire or risk the metal melting, which is highly toxic.
There are wilderness methods to suspending a pot, such as building a cabin like structure using sticks and 2 logs to hold the pot up, or creating a ‘hot-rock’ base by building a fire around a giant flat rock which acts as a stove. But we found it’s much easier to simply buy a pot stand.
- Cast iron cooking pot (recommended)
- Pot stand (optional)
- Wooden spoon
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 30grams of chopped chorizo
- 2 tbsp of tomato paste
- 1 shallot diced
- ½ teaspoon of sweet smoked paprika
- ½ vegetable stock cube
- Salt and pepper
- ⅔ cups of paella rice (brown rice for a healthier option)
- Fresh catch of the day cut into chunks
- Fresh mussels, squid, prawns or scallops (if you caught any)
- Heat olive oil in the pot over the fire at medium heat and throw in the diced up shallot until it’s soft and golden brown.
- Chuck in the chopped chorizo and stir for 3-4 minutes.
- Add in the tomato paste, salt & pepper and paprika and give it a good stir.
- Add the rice and pour in 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil.
- Crumble in the vegetable cube and allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Chuck in all your seafood and cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until the rice is done and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
If you’re looking for adventure and keen to try out some of these delicious recipes make sure to check out our magazine where we reveal:
- WA’s Best Fishing Spots Accessible by 4×4
- How to Get Your 4×4 Beach Ready
- Ultimate 4×4 Checklist You Need Before Hitting The Open Road Part 1
- Ultimate 4×4 Checklist You Need Before Hitting The Open Road Part 2
Total 4×4 has you covered
Before you head out on your next 4WD journey, make sure you’re fully equipped with all your essential 4×4 accessories. Anything can happen when you’re hundreds of kilometres from the nearest town so it’s always better to make sure you have the best possible chance of survival.
Check out our article on how to check your 4WD