Chef Eva Chin grew up in Hawaii, where she used this recipe and method for locally caught fresh seabream, seabass, and snapper fish over a driftwood fire. It adapts perfectly well to Ontario trout and we promise you the slow process of cooking fresh fish over fire finished with a delicious warm butter sauce is well worth it.
“This recipe stems from a nostalgic dish from growing up on the island that has transformed throughout the years as I’ve migrated to different countries. Upon arrival on the great Turtle Island (Toronto), I’ve brought together Ontario freshwater fish and luscious local dairy products. Perth County crème fraîche is my absolute favourite Ontario dairy product from Ontario and it highlights the sauce for this dish!” - Eva Chin
Start and bring your campfire to heat.
Bring a pot of water to a boil and soak konbu in hot boiling water for 30 mins.
Cut open the fish through the belly slit and carve the top loin wide open to ‘butterfly’ the whole fish; discard the bones.
Season the fish with salt and black pepper to taste.
Place half a bunch of dill, garlic cloves and one whole lemon sliced into rounds into the center of the fish.
Close the fish back into a whole shape. Remove the soaked konbu sheet from the water, reserving ½ cup of konbu water. Wrap the fish in the soaked konbu sheet.
Wrap the fish again with a layer of foil to ensure that it is completely covered and protected from direct flames.
In a medium sized pot over medium heat over your fire, add the reserved konbu water, milk and cream to start simmering.
Finely dice shallots and place into the simmering cream and milk.
Allow the milk and cream mixture to start reducing on a medium simmer.
Place your wrapped fish on to the fire and monitor closely while cooking, turning it every now and then to maintain an even heat and protect it from burning.
When the milk and cream mixture has reduced by half, add in miso and yeast and stir very well until completely dissolved.
Fully zest two lemons into the milk and cream mixture; season with salt to taste.
Once your fish is cooked, let it rest in a rack without opening the foil so it will capture all the flavours of the dill and lemon.
To finish the sauce, whisk in the cold butter and creme fraiche until you have a nice glossy finish.
Finely chop the remaining dill fronds and add to the sauce along with finely cut chives, the juice of half a lemon, and, at last, the caviar.
Swirl your pan to spread the sauce out—avoid using a spoon because you will mash the caviar into the sauce.
To serve, open the foil and unwrap the fish, opening it up to remove the garlic, lemon, and dill.
Pour some warm butter sauce all over the fish and enjoy!