Oh, fish, how I love thee!
It helps being an English major when I lack the words to describe my favorite source of protein. Fish has the taste, texture and smell that both excites and fills me up. Given the miserable amount of calories it offers, the abundance of healthy fats and the variety of fish I can choose from, it practically never gets old eating fish.
I usually buy ready to cook trout or salmon, bass, carp and mackerel. Sofia is not exactly the fish capital of the world, and having lived in the Caribbean I am not exactly low maintenance when it comes to my fish.
Back to my fish story. Today was a high calorie day and I strolled aimlessly down the fish aisle, knowing there was beef for dinner and knowing I have some salmon in the fridge for tomorrow's low day. I passed some beautiful shiny long fish that go by the name Zargan here. I got excited about cooking something new, plus this fish is so abundant in phosphorus I though my brain could use some of it in place of the salmon.
So I proudly took my fishies home and unpacked them at the sink. To my surprise the fish was not cleaned, and as whole as they come. Let me tell you what I know about cleaning fish: nothing, zero, nada.
One long phone conversation later, here are the DIY tips for cleaning a long skinny fish:
1. Wash fish and grab a sharp knife.
2. Cut a slit along the belly
3. Using a plastic bag and trying not to look hook your fingers and pull all the insides into the bag
4. Wash fish entirely and make sure there is nothing left on the inside
5. Make sure you lock the cat away since it's almost impossible to be gutting the fish and not kill the cat with the knife
I hated every minute of cleaning that fish with the proud knowledge that nutrition comes first and being grossed out comes second. The fish ended up baked with some fresh lime juice, salt and pepper and the green bones were hell to remove, but it was an effort all worth it!