December 09, 2011

How To Pan Fry A Fish At Camp.

Growing up, even though I didn’t appreciate the taste of fish, knowing how to pan fry a fish was required knowledge. We learned to fly fish, clean a fish and cook it in a pan. No complaints here to have retained this into adulthood.

Although most of my fishing these days is catch and release, it is good to know how to feed yourself if you end up out in the wilderness headed up the proverbial creek.

We were lucky enough to have a good ole Coleman camp stove and a well seasoned cast iron pan to take care of this little brookie. If you have the luxury of car camping you will probably have the same. Otherwise you will be hiking in with a lighter pan and cooking over open flame. Adjust the heat of the pan by the height above the flame and hold your hand over the pan to gauge.

The simplicity and lack of science is the beauty of it. The fresh fish is amazing right out of the river or lake and doesn’t need much to accompany it. Start heating the pan and throw some butter or fat in to grease it up.

Now the beauty of camp cooking … 

(1) Start the fish in the pan skin down with the fish butterflied (opened up). Shake it a bit to keep the skin from sticking. Cook it for a couple minutes skin down

(2) Flip it onto the meat side. Quickly brown the meat side until it is opaque.

(3) Season it if you prefer and start eating…

Aside: There will be bones in these fish. They won’t hurt you. Just pull them out as you flake the fish away or eat it.