Winter in Noosa is my favourite time of year. The days are glorious; clear blue skies, the sun sinks into your skin warming you to the core. There is no vitamin D deficiency here. (According to Dr Oz we all need 15 minutes of direct sun exposure per day. I have no idea why he mentioned an s-shaped poop on Oprah’s farewell show but I doubt it is relevent to this article.)
On as-mentioned glorious winter’s day, Nick and his fishing buddy, Ricardo, head across the bar, over Laguna Bay to anchor at Jew Shoal, north of Granite Bay, Noosa National Park. 26.375°S and 153.116°E to be exact – look it up if you have the time or inclination, but don’t tell anyone else!
Lines were cast and The Slow Chef hauled in an 80cm blacktip reef shark. Ricardo filleted the flake quickly and efficiently providing enough meat for our family of 5 for tea.
In four hours the fishermen caught a smorgasbord of juvenile snapper, commonly known as pinkies – plenty for Ricardo’s family.
The final gift was a bream (not sure what he was doing so far out in the bay) that The Slow Chef fried in butter for lunch upon his return.
Cleaning, gutting and filleting fish outside the home is a wonderful thing to do, as I have mentioned before. The carcasses are offered to other fisherman on the boat ramp for use in their crab pots. We are not crab-eaters (too fiddly) so we don’t bother with pots.
That evening, The Slow Chef teamed up with our 16 year old daughter to prepare dinner. He crumbed and fried the flake. She made an Asian crispy noodle salad. The combination was perfect. You can not beat eating fish straight from the ocean. The flesh is so soft and flakey (no pun intended) it literally melts in your mouth. The sweetened vinegar in the salad added a tang to the fish (like adding lemon) and the crisp noodles and cabbage contrast the texture.
Whilst we are still a (very) long way off being self-sufficient, we are almost one step closer with cabbages a month or so away from picking. In the meantime, I’m happy to buy cabbage from the farmer’s market for a repeat performance of this meal. I just have to send the hunters back out for more fish.