Melva’s fish paste

We were holidaying in beautiful Venus Bay, SA and for the first time so far in my fishing career we actually caught a lot of fish.

The best eating fish in South Australia is by far the King George Whiting, and we caught plenty of those. It would be a travesty to eat fresh whiting in any other way than simply & lightly fried with a little butter. In the markets it would sell for around $50/kg.

To catch the whiting requires a boat, and we were lucky enough to be holidaying in a group with 2 boats and most importantly Poppa Dennis’s years of hard won knowledge and experience.

But it’s not all whiting all the time. We also caught plenty of other species, trevally, tommy ruffs & salmon (not the same as european salmon). We developed a fool proof technique of fishing from the jetty involving dropping some chopped up bait to create a fish feeding frenzy and then gently dropping our baited hooks into the middle of it and immediately hooking eating sized trevally or tommies.

Bottom line is we had lot of fish. Too much to eat so we cleaned filleted and froze a few kilos of fish to take home and process. We’re following a family recipe for a delicious fish paste which kindly given to us by Melva. Try it dolloped onto some melba toast with a bit of sour cream and some snipped chives or dill.

Fish paste

Ingredients

  • 1 kg fish
  • 1 medium onion, finely cut
  • 60 mls spiced vinegar
  • 60 mls cooking oil
  • 100 mls tomato sauce
  • 150 mls tomato paste
  • 30 mls worcestershire sauce
  • 10 ml hot chilli sauce
  • 1 tsp salt

Method

  1. Skin the fish, taking out the blood line etc & cut into small pieces
  2. Place all the ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil, simmering for around 15 mins
  3. Mash the mixture with a potato masher
  4. Spoon the paste into jars sterilised in boiling water, sealing the lids while hot
  5. Keep in the fridge & use within 2 months