Smoking Fish at Cape York

Smoking Fish at Cape York

We fish hard most of the day when we are at Cape York, savouring every moment on the water. Sunset was the time of day when we would sit around the camp fire, relaxing and watching the sun go down over the top ends beautiful beaches.

That was until the silence was broken by flashes of silver bait fish exploding across the surface trying to escape a predatory fish. A fisherman can only sit and watch this display for so long, until curiosity gets the better of them. They grab a rod and flick a lure to see what species was causing the disturbance. A cast into the school and the lure is engulfed by a diamond trevally.

This fish was the perfect size to fit in our smoking oven. We had all the ingredients to make brine. Salt, brown sugar, water and garlic cloves. Dwane made some sawdust with a chainsaw using an oak tree beside our camp that had fallen over in bad weather.

But then we discovered we left the collapsible Nipper Kipper Smoking Oven at home.

When you are in the middle of nowhere sometimes you have to improvise. On low tide we went beachcombing in search of some sort of container that we could convert into a smoking oven. The best we found washed up was an old Soy Bean oil tin.

We used the angle grinder to cut the lid. To our surprise when we opened the tin it still had oil stuck to the sides, which had preserved it’s life on the ocean. I scrubbed the tin with the wire brush, washed it in hot soapy water to remove the oil and burnt the tin on the fire for the final clean.  We moulded a piece of mesh we found at an old camp site for the rack to place the fish on, positioned the smoker directly over the Oz Pig with a good fire going and piece of wood on top of the lid to hold it down.

15 minutes in the new smoker and the two diamond fillets where cooked. They had a nice soft texture and a beautifully smoked flavour.




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