Camp Saba

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I think my favorite meal at camp was the lunch Tod & I cooked together. We bought two whole salted mackerels (shiosaba) at the fishmongers', wrapped them in foil, and cooked them over a gas stove "fire" to share with all of our camping companions.

Camp Saba
serves 12

2 50cm salted mackerels, gutted & scaled
3 small zucchini
2 onions
2 tomatoes
black pepper

Cut the head, tails, and fins off the fish, split each into two lengthwise. Leave the bones in, they are a lot easier to take out after cooking.

Cut the vegetables into bite size pieces but not too small as they will be steaming with the fish for a while.

Lay a piece of fish on a large piece of foil. Top with 1/4 of the vegetables; drizzle with oil & season with pepper. Wrap the fish tightly in the foil, using extra pieces to patch as necessary. Repeat for the remaining three fish pieces.

Place the foil packets on a grill surface over a flame or other heat source. We used a portable gas ring but a charcoal grill or campfire would be equally effective, as would an oven if you're not camping. Cook until you can smell fish and see steam escaping from the cracks in the foil armor, then carefully open a packet (beware of steam) and test for doneness. The fish should be juicy and soft but opaque all the way through. The vegetables will be cooked and fragrant.

After peeling back the foil, find the two fishes with bones, push the veg out of the way, and carefully peel the bones out of the fillet and discard. Serve the fish and vegetables with rice, a salad, and a view of the ocean (optional).

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