Notes: Clean fish soon after they're caught, keep cool, and cook within 24 hours. If cooked right away, the fish tend to curl in the pan, so gently flatten with pancake turner to brown them evenly. Serve with stir-fried or grilled vegetables. Try leeks, fennel, zucchini, carrots, or bell peppers.Nalgene containers (leakprook bottles and jars) can be found at most outdoor supply stores.

Recipe by Sunset May 1997


Credit: Noel Barnhurst

Recipe Summary

Makes 4 servings


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • At home: Put cornmeal, flour, salt, and pepper in a 1-gallon zip-lock plastic food bag. Pack bacon drippings in a small, widemouthed Nalgene jar (see notes). Transport in an insulated chest.

  • In camp: Gut fish. If desired, or for fit in pan, cut off heads and tails. Rinse fish well.

  • Put fish in the plastic bag with the cornmeal mixture and shake to coat.

  • Put bacon drippings in a nonstick 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add fish to pan without crowding. Brown well and cook just until thickest part flakes easily when prodded to the bone, about 5 minutes per side, depending on size. If desired, serve bacon with fish.

Nutrition Facts

435 calories; calories from fat 41%; protein 48g; fat 20g; saturated fat 4.2g; carbohydrates 13g; fiber 0.7g; sodium 148mg; cholesterol 134mg.