Every day I ate the fresh fish I caught while living on Aitutaki In the Cook Islands for 10 years. When you do that one develops a range of fish recipes. Fish and mango stew was one of my favourites but most frequent which I cooked for tourists on uninhabited islet beaches accross the lagoon was whole BBQed fish. I went fishing today, a few kilometers out from Scarborough Beach. On return via Hillarys Boat Harbour, here's how I cooked my fish:
    1. Boil sweat potatoe. I added some silverbeet from the garden towards the end.
    2. Only gut and gill whole fish. It is most important to LEAVE SCALES ON. Cook with head on. It's the best part but if you don't like it you can pull off head and toss it if you don't like to swallow it.
    3. Place fish on GRILL when grill is hot.
    4. Cooking time depends on size of fish. You can not under-cook fish. About 5 minutes each side for a half kilogram fish.
    5. Serve with scales on. Let the diner peel back scales to reveal rising steam from clean white flesh .
    Squeeze lemon juice over fish flesh. Your preference for salt and pepper. Chilly sauce is good too.

    Top left visitor from a Chinese restaurant in Manila.

    ADVANTAGES OF LEAVING SCALES ON:
    1. Keeps moisture in
    2. Protects flesh from burning.
    If you're like me, you'll know that the best part of the fish are:
    • Cheeks
    • Eyes. Suck them out
    • Brain. If you're skilled you can suck fish brains backwards out the spinal chord. YUM!
    • Meat at the base of pectoral fins.