Last night, I decided to cook myself a healthy Whole Fish Salad for my dinner. I’m still in London for the next couple of weeks and I’m exhausted with all the packing! I decided I needed something both to pick me up and to reward me for the hard work so far.
Now, if you’re going to make this, please first learn from my mistake. I forgot to say one essential thing to the fishmonger I bought this from, and when I got my lovely piece of fish from the fridge to cook later that evening I learned, to my horror, that it wasn’t already gutted for me!
Luckily, my lovely chum Stephen Swinnerton previously worked as a fishmonger at the supermarket Waitrose. With his teasing and guidance via telephone, I managed to achieve a thorough gutting.
FISH GUTTING- NOT FOR THE FAINT HEARTED
If the fish is slimy, give it a quick rinse under the tap. Otherwise, you risk slipping and cutting yourself.
Find its butt-hole (I’m not kidding). Insert the knife, and cut all the way along to the head
Open it, and remove the… Well, the guts.
Along the spine, you will see a long dark vein. Cut all the way along it to break it, then remove the blood.
Finally, the gills. Hidden under the flaps at the back of the head. Lift the flap and slice the fleshy gill, then remove it using your fingers. Watch out! They will be spiky!
Yikes. Clean it up a bit.
As gross as it was, I’m frankly please this happened. I learned a new skill, and as I’m planning on a trip to Thailand next year where catching you own fish for dinner is part of the package, I’m glad I learned this skill in good time, rather than exposing myself as a sissy mid-adventure. However, until then, I think I will definitely remember to ask the fishmonger to do the dirty work for me!
SO! Now we’re past that little massacre, on with the recipe!