Carp Good to Eat
Inside the Outdoors, August 12,
2016

One thing’s for sure. When it comes to carp, we’ve certainly got a lot of opportunities to catch them and make them one’s meal selection if not for one meal, maybe several.

Just put a crawler or some corn on a hook and those may be the magic tickets for the evening’s feast.

It’s crazy when one thinks of it. I have heard people state they would never eat a carp because “those fish are ugly.” But consider this. We eat a lot of ugly animals or fowl and no one ever states that excuse.

Take a turkey or chicken for examples. They are ugly. Yet, no one complains of their appearance. A matter of fact, breakfast is egg time and nobody ever says “boo” when it comes to eating scrambled or poached eggs.

So, when it comes to carp, what’s the big deal? The real big advantage I see is the fact that anytime when one catches a carp; it will yield a lot of fish to eat.

Some years ago, I was fishing the upper lake at Twin Lakes and hooked into a 33-inch trophy. There are literally a ton of those fish in that lake that is ‘humongous.’ So, why not pull them out and have a feast that will be long remembered?

I caught my fish on what is described as a ‘dug worm’ or a small worm used by many for catching trout. The ‘carp master’ who fished St. Vincent Lake used cream of corn. He would land approximately 95 fish each year on the same bait. That’s all he ever fished for.

Wanting to find out exactly how to clean and cook carp, I turned to the Internet and ‘pulled up’ http://tpwd.texas.gov/fishboat/fish/didyouknow/inland/carp_recipes. That seemed like a good website so I went with it.

It stated, “It is best good to gut, gill and ice them down within a short time after catching. Be sure to remove all the blood along the backbone and from the body cavity as this blood causes fast spoilage. Since most people agree that the skin tends to add a strong, fishy flavor, one will probably want to skin the carp. The fish can then be fileted, halved or left whole for stuffing and baking Regardless of whether it is to be fried or baked, the carp should be ‘scored.’ Slice one-eighth to one-quarter inch with a sharp knife. Scoring allows heat and cooking oils to penetrate and soften the fish’s many small bones.”

There are nine different ways this website brings to the readers’ attention on ways to prepare carp for tasty, edible dishes.

For example, baking carp whole is one approach. It can also be eaten in pieces if one desires that this is more suitable for his palate. This recipe calls for a four-pound fish.

These are the ingredients needed: 4 cups of bread crumbs, 3 tablespoons of finely cut celery, 6 tablespoons of melted butter, three-quarters teaspoon of salt, one-eighth teaspoon of pepper, and one teaspoon of sage.

The directions state as follow: “Cook celery and onions for a few minutes in the butter. Mix the other ingredients and add them to the butter mixture. Wipe dressed fish with damp cloth and salt inside lightly inside and out. Stuff the dressing and sew or tie with a string to retain stuffing. Place in preheated oven and bake at 375 degrees for one hour.”

How about some carp cakes? Here are the ingredients: 1 cup of flaked, cooked carp, 3 cups of mashed potatoes, 1 beaten egg, 2 tablespoons of bacon grease, one-half tablespoon of butter, one-half-teaspoon of pepper, one-half tablespoon of salt, and one half tablespoon of paprika.

“Mix carp, potatoes, bacon grease, butter, salt, pepper, and paprika, and then add the beaten egg. Shape into cakes and pan fry in hot grease until a golden brown.

There is even a recipe for carp in beer. I imagined a few eyebrows went up on that one.

Here are the ingredients for that tongue-pleaser: 2 pounds of carp, 2 and one-half ounces cans of dark beer, 1 medium onion, 1 stalk of celery chopped, 1 bay leaf, one-half teaspoon of thyme, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 spring parsley, one-quarter pound of butter, and one-half cup of gingerbread crumbs.

Here are the instructions. Mince onion; add celery, bay leaf, thyme, parsley beer and salt. Bring to boil. Cut carp into pieces and place in the sauce. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes on low fire. Remove carp from sauce and thicken sauce with gingerbread crumbs. Strain sauce and stir in butter. The sauce must be creamy and hot; pour it over the carp.”

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To those who think they are being kind by feeding feral cats, keep in mind, you are also nourishing sewer rats!


- Paul J. Volkmann
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