Our resident chef Mark Hix heads to the Bahamas in search of delectable bonefish

 
Mark Hix

I’m writing this from a little island in the Bahamas called Andros, regarded as one of the best best bonefishing destinations in the world. This is the ultimate fish to catch on the fly. Long-term readers will know that I go to this part of the world at least once a year to chase the bones and other deepwater fish including mahi mahi and wahoo.

This little trip serves two purposes: having fun on the fly rod with these incredible sporting species, and catching the ingredients for supper, which has become an annual tradition.

This year I didn’t catch as many mahi mahi as I have in the past, but I bagged a load of other other interesting species including black fin tuna, shark, yellowtail, barracuda and triggerfish.

I work out the menu while we’re fishing. which would scare the hell out of many cooks. I always prepare a raw fish course (this is obligatory when it’s fresh out of the water), and the tuna was an unexpected bonus. I rustled up a plate of sashimi and ceviche with the smaller species, mixed with orange segments, chilli and coriander – it went down a treat. I even brought some giant Indonesian shrimp crackers, which are great for mopping up the ceviche’s leche de tigre.

For the next course I made a clear broth with the fish-heads and added shredded ginger, spring onion and chilli, dropping in some crispy-fried chunks of barracuda.

I packed some miso paste in my suitcase along with curry spices and other bits, as ingredients on Andros are few and far between. Miso-baked mahi mahi with a pigeon pea salsa was the next course followed by a shark vindaloo served with an onion bhaji made by one of my kitchen helpers Robin Hutson; he’s now an expert on these delicious crisp accompaniments and can make them better than most Indian restaurants.

My other assistants, Mags Revell and Travers Nettleton, did a sterling job in the extremely basic kitchen at the Bonefish Club, and hopefully learnt a tip or two.

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