I have always wanted to catch and prepare my own fish. Well, I am now half of the way to achieving this dream of mine. I did not catch the snappers, but I gutted, scaled, and cleaned them. Thank you, YouTube! The internet is the elders of our society. That’s a metaphor.
The first step was scaling the fish (the top photograph shows the scaled fish). I used the back end of a knife, which worked well enough, scales flying everywhere, but I think I would have preferred a scaler.
I proceeded to slice the stomach from the vent to the mouth and then ripped out the insides all in one fell swoop. Kind of. Since I had never done any of this before I was going slowly, trying to experience all of the squishy, slimey, slippery sensations. Gills are pretty cool and creepy. They feel as though they could slice right through your fingers, so I was overly cautious around them. The guts do come out easily though, if you get a good grip on the gills.
Once the gutting was completed, I used my knife to poke at any bloody parts on the spine that I wanted to drain. After that, I washed it. And washed it again. And washed it some more. I know it would have all been fine once cooked, but I wanted to be thorough.
There were two fish, so I stuffed them with different ingredients. Please note: I don’t really measure ingredients, unless I’m following a recipe, so for the spices I just sprinkled however much I desired.
Above are my beautifully grilled fish, which weren’t actually that beautiful, but the meat was perfectly cooked. The spices were subtle, so I think next time I may just grill it with plain, old salt and pepper and make a lemon-mint sauce to pour over it. (Side note: one of the eyeballs fell out as it was grilling! Super cool!).
All-in-all a very satisfying experience!