Eating Fish

So, I am looking for ways to cook fish other than frying. Too much oil, grease and I get ill. So if fish are on my wilderness menue, how else can I prepare them?


you could pan boil them, or better yet, grill them over some hot coals from your fire.

I have thought
of that, but I guess I figured the fish would fall appart if not breaded. When you flip them, do they fall apart?

Outback Bake Oven
I believe it is Backpackers Pantry who makes the ‘Outback Bake Oven’. Have used it for years to bake fish, make breads, brownies, pizzas, and most anything you can bake at home. Used over a stove w/out tank under burner (say a MSR Whisperlite, etc. w/fuel canister off to side). Just needs a light spray off non-stick cooking spray or a pre-wipe of oil on pan. I even cook fish with it at home on the gas range. At camp or home it’s done in 20 minutes to perfection. The 10" version is best for tripping for two, wish they still sold the 12", which made awsome pizzas at home, or car camping. I highly recommend their ovens for tripping, mines been coast-to-coast and all Canada, and even cooked fish for us in Greenland.

use a stick

– Last Updated: Mar-13-07 10:30 AM EST –

just like in the old time pictures. Two forked sticks across from each other, and one cross stick - green wood. Larger fish, just push the stick in through thier mouth and out near the tail (have cooked 20" brookies and lakers this way). Small fish like 8" brookies, just slip the stick through the gill and out the mouth and let them dangle - several on the same stick, a few inches apart. You can use a second cross stick to make a second, parrallel bar if you don't want to dangle the fish, but prefer tehm flat.

Have cooked fish this way many a time, and they come out great - taste more like smoked salmon than "fishy" since the fat drips off into the fire. Generally, when they stop dripping, they are done.

Oh yeah, cleanup is as easy as burning the cooking stinck in your fire - no pans to wash.

You can just skewer fillets on a stick also, but they tend to get a bit too dry - better to do a whole fish.

Have also cooked fillets wrapped in aluminum foil - a bit of butter to keep them from sticking, and some s&p or whatever for spice. Just place them on a flat rock close to the coals, and turn occasionally.

OK, can't resist "It's so easy a caveman could do it!"

Parboil dem fish
Easy. Just put a little water in the bottom (say enough to go halfway up the filet), bring it to a boil, and cook the fish turning it once.

Add some salt, pepper or other spices when you turn it.

Fish won’t fall apart if you don’t overcook it.

If you do, then make chowder.

saltwater fish
I usually fish on all my trips and have found a couple of tablespoons of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan works nicely to pan sear the fillet which you can coat with seasonings.

If you liked breading on fish fillets using the method above. Bring some italian bread crumbs and some produce bags. Use dijon mustard to coat the filets and throw these in the bags with the italian bread crumbs to coat fish without a mess. Now put those filets in the pan with the olive oil fry to golden brown.

That method is also called poaching. It works well. Often it is served with some melted butter or margarine on the side for dipping. Very good.

Foil Baked
You can also foil bake it. Squit some squeeze margarine on the foil; add a filet; wrap it up; and, either put it directly on coals or on the grate. This can be done with spices/herbs or a maranade. A good maranade is Italian Dressing.

A lot of us Florida Crackers roast fish

– Last Updated: Mar-20-07 12:35 PM EST –

skewered onto a green cabbage palm (sable palm) palm frond stems trimmed down to the right size over an open fire or coals. Rub on olive oil with lots of granulated lemon and pepper.
You can also bake your fish in a large banana leaf (here in Florida, anyway) after adding your favorite herbs and spices lay it on some hot coals or a grating over a fire and your nose will tell you when it's done.
When I'm down in the 10,000 Islands I take a large pan and saute' some snook in coconut milk, papaya or mango pulp or juice with slivers of same, along with peppergrass or sliced peppers, and crushed or sliced sea-almonds. Turn the fish over once or twice until done. Your tastebuds will thank you.
BTW... All of the ingredients can be found growing within the area.

Wrap in
Wrap in grass or something green and cook them on the coals. Or in the BWCA, on the grill at each campsite.

If you don’t mind packing out tin foil. Cook them in tin foil.

let me know
what islands you’ll be on so I can have some of that snook in coconut milk! Sure sounds great!

We were fishing up in Ontario a few years ago and ate so much fried fish I thought I’d lose it. We searched our supplies for anything we could use to find a new way to cook the fish, and voila…SALSA!

Walleye poached in salsa is awesome! Try it.


I second the salsa poaching
That’s how I prepare haddock at home topped with a little cheddar cheese - yum!

To prepare just caught mackerel, I clean them, fill the cavity with slices of lemon and onion, wrap them in foil, and place them on a grate over the fire. When a grate isn’t available, on a rock placed in the hot embers works.

My dad taught me how to cook

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with what's at hand in my youth. It's a good, simple recipe for snook. I've heard nothing but praise for it from everybody that's tasted it.
Some paddlers have chastized me for the method I've occasionally used for gathering the fish (stunning them in a shallow tidal pool with a specific vegetation) and have threatened to tell the park service about my so-called dirty deeds but since I'm not killing the fish in the pool (they recover completely within two hours) and I only use this method on an average of about once a year I consider it just honing a survival skill. The flora itself can be used medicinally for stomache aches and menstral cramps if ingested directly by humans but if used to stun fish the medicinal properties aren't passed on to humans nor impart any flavor in the fish flesh.
I'm always paddlin' somewhere in the state, maybe we'll see each other around the next bend. If you happen upon a tall, thin, 50ish paddler in a beat up white or camo gel-coated canoe camping and cooking around the 'Glades, 10,000 Is., or FL Bay and smell the fish cookin' drop on by, rest a spell, and enjoy a unique meal and conversation.

The answer!
Take some aluminum foil, some herbs (thyme is good, so are chives) and salt and pepper and just a bit of white wine (like an airline size-bottle should do for a couple small fish or some larger filets)… wrap it all up in the pouch (make it like a tent… keep the top a bit higher than the top of the fish to allow for steaming action) and put that over your camp fire until it’s cooked through. The wine will keep the fish from drying out and add a LOT of flavor. Plus, you won’t have to flip it… it won’t fall apart until you eat it.

If you don’t like or want wine, you can use water, but it won’t taste the same. I’ve used this technique with water and soy sauce too. If you’re going to use soy sauce, ginger works very well with soy.

One of the best methods, just pack out
the foil. Here’s a recipe:

Fish tacos are great.

cast iron
I have a cast iron grill that I use for everything from bacon and eggs to try bread, Olive oil is the healthest way to fry anything and it dosnt take much

Fish Basket
For cooking fish on the grill or over the fire, a fish basket is extremely useful.

The one I have is by Ronco (that’s right, purveyors of the pocket fisher and rotisseries that you see advertised on late night TV), but I just looked at their web site and they only offer it in an accessory package for $40, and it’s not worth it. The one I have from them is about ten inches square, and it is non-stick, making it easy to clean.

The basket is basically two grills that are hinged or interlocked. You place the fish in between the two grills and then the two grills are somehow clamped together, holding the fish firmly between the two grills. What I like about the basket is that the fish does not directly contact the cooking surface, so you don’t have the fish sticking and breaking apart when you try to turn or move it.

Such baskets are commonly available from anywhere that sells grill or kitchen stuff. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Many have insulated handles, which might be useful if you are cooking over a fire and don’t have a grate. Personally, I like the Ronco product because it is compact and lightweight, but I don’t know where you’d find such a thing without buying the whole kit.

If you are a meat lover, maybe buy the Rotisserie, and I think they throw the basket in with it. Ronco’s basket can be fitted onto the rotisserie. I was dubious about the product, but a butcher we frequent talked my wife into buying it. The butcher said if we didn’t like it, he’d buy it from us. We are still using it, so the butcher did not need to put his money… There’s an endorsement.

Since I am issuing endorsements, I’ll do one more for a spice product called Adobe (maybe by Guya). Rub a splash of olive oil on the fish, then sprinkle adobe on it, toss it in the basket, grill it up, and you will be ready to eat one tastey morsel of fish!

~~Chip Walsh, Gambrills, MD