View Full Version : Fish cooked in clay

09-16-2010, 12:55 PM
This is my post I copied from another thread ("Clay Fish" by spectre1). I just wanted to get it on the cooking thread.

You have two options when when working with clay:

First - Wrap the food in leaves and then in clay:
In northeast Ohio grape leaves are plentiful so I use them to wrap the fish in. With this method you want to clean and scale the fish, then season with salt, pepper, butter, and lemon. Wrap with two to three layers of leaves and set aside.

Once you have located the source of your clay you need to prepare it for cooking. Pick out any stones as they can explode when in the fire. Add enough water to moisten the clay to make it pliable. You should be able to make flat patties out of it without them developing large cracks. Add more water if necessary to make the clay more pliable. Cracks allow steam to escape and will dry out the fish and possibly cause it to burn. While mixing the clay with you hands continue to check for stones. Make the patties large enough to cover the fish and leave about an inch around the outside. Make two patties for each fish.

Lay a fish on one of the clay patties and then lay a second patty on top. Moisten your hand and then press the edges of the clay together. Work out any any cracks in the clay. Repeat this until you have all of the fish covered in clay and ready to bake.

You need a good cooking fire with hot coals and ash. Place the clay patties on a light layer of coals and cover with another light layer of coal. It takes thirty minutes to an hour to cook the fish, depending the size of the fish, how thick the clay is, and the amount of coals used. It's better not to cook the fish too fast by piling on a lot of coals. An average time is about thirty minutes.

Once cooked crack open the edge of the clay and remove the fish wrapped in leaves. Caution - the leaves are very hot. remove the leaves and eat.

Second - Wrap the fish in clay only:

When cooing fish with clay only your preparation is a bit different. Gut the fish but leave the head, scales, and fins on. Season the inside of the fish and the wrap with the clay patties. Press the clay tightly around the fish and make sure the edges are sealed.

Place the fish in the coals to cook as above. Once fully cooked, crack open the edge of the clay and peel back to expose the fish. This will remove the scales along with the skin. Remove the fish from the second layer of clay. Pull on the fins to remove many of the bones and the cut off the head. It's ready to eat.

11-23-2010, 12:55 AM
I taught this method to a group of young adults the other day, and they all were thrilled to see how well it works. Both children and adults always seem to get a lick out of it.

11-23-2010, 06:27 AM
Well done Phil.

11-24-2010, 05:23 PM
Thanks for the post, I've done the grape leaves and clay method and it worked out great. I need to try it again sometime, the kids really enjoyed doing it. We used panfish, bluegill and crappie. But I think most any whole fish would work.