One lesson we are learning in PR is that things happen in their own good time and when you least expect them. I have been trying to find fresh fish since we moved over (albeit not overly aggressively, as we’ve had one or ten more important things to tend too…). Rincon is known as the fishing town where you can’t buy fresh fish in the supermarkets (they have big bags of stuff from China…).
This morning, Nick and I went down to the beach for a morning walk. After our walk, as we were heading back to the car Nick was asked “You want to buy some fish?” Not as strange a question as it might seem as we were parked next to a fisherman’s house and makeshift commerce center.
Fisherman Frank showed us his various offerings (all involving large bags of whole fish he brought to shore at 2am that morning). We settled on a 4.5 pound bag containing 5 Yellowtail Snapper (googly eyes and all–innards thankfully cleaned out).
I have to admit that though I’ve happily eaten whole fish before, I’ve never actually bought whole fresh fish. Nick much prefers his fish faceless, in chunks, and in a curry. I figured I’d attempt to cube up the largest fish for a future fish curry and broil or fry the smaller ones.
Well, they make it seem easy on TV but either I was doing something very wrong or my knifes are just not up to the task. I discovered that whole fish have very muscular (i.e., tough to cut through) bodies and a good number of bones (well duh!). They also have fins that are quite prickly!
On to plan B: I marinaded the largest fish and one of the smaller ones (scored) in a teriyaki style sauce (soy sauce, ginger, oil, garlic and some vinegar–need to buy sherry!) and hoped for the best. I ended up baking the fish in parchment+foil packets, which produced some very nice and succulent results. I served the fish with rice, brocolli, grilled pineapple (bought from a stand on the side of the highway) and a yogurt ginger sauce. My plating needs some work, but hey, I was working hard to get all those little bones out (any tips on deboning a whole fish, cooked or raw, would be much appreciated!). And the verdict? Nick said the fish was ‘very tasty’ which given his feelings about ‘all things fishy’ is high praise indeed.