For the last few weeks I'd been trying to head out floundering, but hadn't come across the right night until this Saturday just gone. It was a calm, dark, moonless night with the tide coming in. Perfect for flounder. Braving the cold, we headed out in front of friends' place not far from Hobart. It took a while to spear the first fish, but after we found them we soon had 10 fish in the punt.
Flounder in Tasmania is traditionally a breakfast fish, and with its sweet and earthy flesh I decided to cook it with some mushrooms and bacon. Considering I was up all night fishing, breakfast beers seemed OK – and the beer of choice was Cascade's First Harvest.
2 cups of assorted mushrooms
3 sprigs of rosemary
1 tbs toasted sesame seeds
2-3 tbs butter
2 cups of vegetable oil
1 cup of seasoned flour
2 tbs finely diced bacon
1-2 tbs white vinegar
Roughly chop the mushrooms and fry them in the butter with the rosemary and bacon until just cooked. Add vinegar and set aside and keep warm.
Dust the flounder in flour and shake off the excess. Heat the oil in a large pan. When hot, shallow-fry the flounder on both sides until golden.
Pour over the mushrooms and buttery sauce, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
Smoke the flounder. Instead of flour, lightly coat the fish in a ⅔ brown sugar to ⅓ salt mix. Hot smoke for about 20 minutes. Or, instead of smoking the fish you can smoke a few of the mushrooms. This will give them a slightly meaty flavour.
Samuel Shelley and Catherine Miller are Island Menu: a hunger-inducing blog about growing, picking, fishing and cooking good food in Tasmania. Do not read it on an empty stomach.