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Keep-it-Simple Salmon

Blue Cod

The Southern Lakes are a beautiful place to go kayaking. On a clear day, slicing through glassy, crystal clear water with snow-capped peaks towering all around is about as good as it gets. But the thing that a lot of paddlers forget is that lurking just below the surface is – dinner!

Just toss a lure out the back of the kayak and cruise along slowly and there’s a good chance you’ll pick up a salmon or two. Although there are hundreds of ways to cook a salmon, in my experience simple is best. Here’s a good example.

Volume: 0.5 L (not including the salmon)
Energy: 175 calories per 100g
Cost: $ – (for a daily fishing licence)
Preparation time: about 30 minutes
Fuel: 250ml white spirit, or 100g camping gas*

*Based on an MSR Whisperlite burning white spirit at sea level.


  • 15ml olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 lemons and/or oranges
  • 1 salmon
  • Chives and coriander (optional)
  • Salt and pepper

Special utensils

  • Tin foil
  • Frypan (or you can use the coals of a campfire)

Slice and fry the lemons and oranges in the oil and butter until they caramelise slightly, then stuff them into the body cavity and place a few on top (just for looks). Wrap the fish loosely but air tightly in foil then pop into a frypan on a low heat.

The exact cooking time will depend on the size of the fish. But you can tell when it’s done by spreading the flesh with a pair of forks – if it’s light-pink, firm and flaking then it’s good to go (it’s best to err on the side of underdone). Season to taste, then combine with a nice Central Otago Pinot Noir and enjoy!

Thanks to fishing guru Adrian Nankivell for supplying the fish for this month’s recipe!