Question of the Day, June 13-14, 2015, Fishing

Do you like to go out fishing?
If so… Do you prepare the fish you catch for a meal?
If so… How do you prepare the fish(s) you caught?
If not… Why do you prefer not to?

I fished most of my life.

I was a commercial fisherman for 17 years.

I’ve been a recreational fisherman – catching fish to eat for myself or my family and friends most of my life.

I am in my 11th year as president of our local boating and fishing club, and am currently the president of the New Zealand Recreational Fishing Council, and treasurer for the district coastal management group. So yeah – a lot to do with fishing.

And for the last 5 years I’ve been vegan, so have actually done very little fishing myself.

Feels a bit strange.

I have caught literally millions of fish – probably close to 2 million of them over the last 55 years. From tiny little yellow eyed mullet up to 230lb bluefin tuna, and sharks going close to a ton. Mostly small flatfish & eels.

When I was commercial fishing, I could catch and clean and prepare 3,000 for market on a good day. Over 17 years about 3,000 days fishing, with average probably close to 700 fish per day.

Many different ways of preparing fish. I would always have a bottle of vinegar on the boat, so that if I got really hungry I could quickly fillet a fish, cut it into small cubes and drop them in a plastic bag and pour in some vinegar. The vinegar would marinate it, and in 15 minutes there was a meal to be had.

Flatfish are great just fried in a pan, or poached with a little sweet basil.

Most fish cook quite well just pan fried in a simple batter – coat in flour, dip in beaten egg, then coat in fine breadcrumb, and fry.

Some fish are really nice just raw – oysters and scallops in particular, and most of the tunas. You just need to look carefully are the flesh, and make certain it is clear – it’s easy to get intestinal parasites from some.

Mussels are great just thrown on a piece of corrugated iron over a fire, and as soon as they open they are ready to eat.

Crayfish, bring to the boil, hold boiling for 6 minutes, then cool quickly in cold water. Great just like that, and if you’re feeling adventurous cover with a mornay sauce and lightly grill.

Paua (abalone) to you northerners, are great raw, and also great cooked. If you’re going to cook them, first blanch them in rapidly boiling water – just dip in the boiling water for 40 seconds and pull out again. Done this way first, they will be soft and tender whatever else you do to them. If you don’t do that, they can be like preparing and eating tyre rubber.

Thousands of great recipes out there, all a matter of personal preference really.

[followed by]

Hi Lulu

Yeah – quite a few stories, too many close calls, and a lot of fun, a lot of things unexpected, and many an amazing sense of being when one becomes one with the boat and the sea in a continuous dance of intention on man on vessel on waves – and another time perhaps šŸ˜‰

[followed by]


Yep – it is raw, and it feels cooked.

Haven’t ever caught a Dorado, they are more tropical in their distribution, and are quite rare visitors to these parts (I’m about the as far south as Seattle is north).

[followed by]


The protein is denatured by the acid, in similar fashion to cooking, but any parasites have a much higher probability of surviving a short dunking in vinegar or lime juice, than a cooking by heat. So it is one of those, kinda, sorta things.

And soft fleshed fish (like red cod or barracuda, I would definitely cook before eating – with barracuda I would use a pressure cooker, maybe with a bit of vinegar as well – they tend to be full of nematode worms, and a few hookworms).

And I’ve eaten plenty of raw seafood – like really raw, still wriggling sorta raw, but mostly shellfish and tuna and salmon, and also snapper (sea bream – Pagrus spp).

About Ted Howard NZ

Seems like I might be a cancer survivor. Thinking about the systemic incentives within the world we find ourselves in, and how we might adjust them to provide an environment that supports everyone (no exceptions) - see
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