European Carp Recipe (of Yugoslav / Croatian Origins)
Author: Ultimate Fishing (FishingTackleLures.com.au)
Most of the morning fishing sessions I have locally lead me to run into a fair few common faces at the local lakes, while personally chasing european perch using dedicated red feathered spinning redfin lures, I’ve noticed carp fishing seems very popular with some of Australias Asian population, so much so that I decided to give it a go.
Carp is surprisingly easy to catch, the best bait seems to be worms, especially dead worms which have been previously frozen and then thawed, however this also attracts a lot of eels, not a problem if you enjoy the taste of eels, but if you are fishing for carp you will find them a common by-catch.
Due to this, I decided to turn my attention to the local fishermen and their bait rigs. Language barriers aside, at the local lakes and rivers each morning everyone is normally like family, offering help to net fish, sharing bait and showing off their rigs and catches. I found the local men were using a combination of flour, water and corn. The coin looked to be regular canned corn kernels which had been put through a blender. I decided to give them a go myself, however subsisting the canned corn for polenta (cornmeal), this worked well and landed a carp after around an hour on a simple running sinker, and best of all, no eels biting every 5 minutes!
I am still yet to get a recipe for carp from any of the morning fishermen, however when mentioning my interest in trying out a popular recipe for carp from another region to my friends father, he surprised me with his response. He is of Croatian descent and would regularly fish for carp in both Croatia and Australia when he was younger, and the fish was very popular to eat in his family too.
I was lucky enough to get his best recipe for carp to try out for myself, the recipe is as follows:
- 1 or more European Carp, gutted and gilled (head and tail can be removed if desired)
- Onions (Red, Brown or White)
- Lemon juice
- White flour
Remove the head of the carp and gut the fish, then remove the scales. If the carp is between 1 and 1.5kg following this, then the whole fish can be used, otherwise for fish larger than 1.5kg, large carp fillets cut across from the spine to the stomach can be used instead. I was recommended to go with the fillet version however large fish around 2 to 3kg are required.
The method both he and his family have used to cook carp is to preheat the oven to 180c. Using a roasting pan add a small amount of melted butter, there should be enough to moderately cover the bottom of the pan, then add chopped onions cut as 5mm thick circular pieces, layer the bottom of the pan with these and place in the oven.
Once the onions start to soften and turn translucent, carefully remove the tray and add a small amount of salt and ground black pepper, along with 2 tablespoons of paprika. Add some more butter then place your cleaned fish either whole or as fillets over the onions. At the same time, whisk a cup of water with the juice of half a lemon and 1 heaped tablespoon of flour, then pour this over the fish and return the pan to the oven.
Cook uncovered for 1 hour and then serve on fresh flat-bread. As with everything else, it should be enjoyed alongside a beer or two 🙂