Recipes

Fish Toes:

Soak small cubes of fish in milk for 20 minutes (not required for whites/mingo but we still do). Heat skillet on medium high heat with 1 tablespoon of butter and oil (I prefer olive oil. Whisk egg. Pour flour or breadcrumbs in a separate bowl. Mix in salt and pepper to taste. We sometimes use a seafood seasoning (like Old Bay). Dip fish in egg wash and then breading mixture. Place into skillet when the skillet has heated to med-high heat. Cook on each side for about a minute, depending on the size of the fish. The breading will turn golden brown. The fish cooks very quickly!

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Smoked Fish Dip:

Starts long before you get back to the dock. 10-20lb fish are the best to smoke. On the boat, make sure it immediately goes into an ice bath -- a slushy mixture of ice and salt water. Back at the ramp, filet the fish - leave skin on. Cut filets into even size pieces. Trim off dark meat, leave skin on. 

Dry rub: 40% kosher salt, 60% brown sugar and whatever seasoning you want. Anything dry - garlic powder, onion powder, etc. No liquid. Put in tight container in the fridge to brine overnight. The next day you'll see the entire container will be fill of a liquid - the dry rub pulls out all the oil out of that fish. 

Take the filets out of the brine - rinse them off really well in fresh water. Take the wet pieces and put them on an oven grate or any type of grate and put them in front of a fan until they dry and they form a crust - should take about 3 hours. Some people skip this step by patting dry with a paper towel and placing the filets in the refrigerator to form the crust. The crust is very important - gives the smoke something to stick to!

 

Now it's ready to smoke. Always use a light wood like cherry or apple. Put fish in their, skin side down, somewhere between 150-180 degrees for roughly 2 hours More or less depending on how moist you like it. Let them cool, they'll peel right off the grates. 

When you're ready to eat, peel the skin, cut out the dark meat/bloodline out of the fish. Mix the white meat of the fish into your dip - a 50/50 mix of sour cream, mayo, chopped up vegetables, more seasoning for taste and enjoy!

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Bonita:

I know what you're thinking - but try it! This process starts right when you get the fish in the boat - you'll want to try the closest thing to a true ike jime as you can get - I like to under and behind the gills at the top of the fish - right next to the spinal cord, to sever the spinal cord and blood vessels instantly. I feel like this way the heart doesn't know the fish is dead. I like to hold the knife with some pressure here for a minute to prevent convulsions - it will keep the fish relaxed. For the full ike jime - insert a needle down the entire spine of the fish Or wire leader. Cut a ring around the tail into the spine (don't cut the tail off - makes fileting a lot harder), and stand that fish up in a bucket full of icy saltwater. The heart will contiue to pump the blood out of that fish. This bonita punch can get pretty nasty. 

After the fish has bled out, gut and brush the inside of the fish out. Keep in a slush mix until you're ready to filet. Filet out all of the dark meat - you're really only left with 4 small loins from each side. Make sure you have only the cleanest part of the fish. Some people choose to soak in an ice bath for 24 hours - I don't think this is necessary. 

Light Sear: Soak in a marinade of orange juice, worcester sauce, soy sauce, basil, oregeno, lime juice for about an hour. Lightly sear - typically around 2 minutes each side. An additional option for a marinade typically used on tuna is 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup rice vinegar, a tablespoon or sriracha, a tablespoon of ginger, and a couple of garlic cloves. Enjoy wth some sesame noodles!

Poke style: Cube it. Add soy, sesame oil, black sesame seeds, chopped green onion. Again, only use clean pieces. 

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