Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Easy Smokin'

It's something I've been intending to do for a long time, ever since I picked up a 99p 'Penny Pinchers' book on 'Fishing for Food'; set up a fish smoker. Now I've done it, and it's wonderful.

Smoked tayan-tayang fish Siargao Island Philippines I haven't yet refined the techniques yet, and the results are a bit variable; sometimes a tad over-cooked (I haven't got the knack of cold-smoking yet), but delicious.

In the absence of oak or hickory chips, we use coconut husks; perfect - some of them are green and smoulder slowly and smokily, and others are dry enough to set the thing going without too much flame.

As for the fish, well, we have:
Tayang-tayang - Dolphinfish, mahi-mahi, lampuga, dorado (Call it what you will)
Bangsi - Flying fish about the size of a herring
Budloy - Another herring-style fish
Yellowfin tuna
Liplipan - Sailfish
Blue Marlin

You can see what these look like at my website: Fish of Siargao Island

They're all very fresh-caught, and very cheap - from 40p to 80p per kilo, and so much better smoked than plain. To be honest, I was getting very fed up with fish altogether; there's only so much you can do with it, especially if you're only cooking for one, and with only a frypan.

Now that I have a lady cook in residence, I have a good excuse both to eat good food and enjoy it in company.

I have 'kippers' for breakfast (and sometimes lunch and tea, as well), smoked fish pâté, 'haddock'-and-potato soup, etc. The last is better made with Jerusalem artichokes (unobtainable), but maybe I'll try gabi, the local small taro tuber.

The smoker is only a small cupboard, knocked together by Ron from plywood and 2x1 sticks, with a door, and a couple of rails for the chicken wire based trays. The coconut husks go into a tray at the bottom.

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