How to prepare the bream, Kariba’s best dish for tourists


Bream fish cooked with garlic and orange grape

from OBERT SIAMILANDU in Kariba, Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe Bureau
KARIBA, (CAJ News) – THE wild bream is common in almost every restaurant in Kariba and there are various ways to prepare this most delicious dish.

A chef who has worked in the hospitality industry for more than twenty years, Fackson Magwili Siamilandu, said the bream was increasingly found on restaurant menus and in home kitchens, thanks to its versatility and crowd-pleasing flavour.

“A simple way to cook a bream in the oven is to wrap it in baking paper and foil with some aromatic ingredients such as lemon slices (or other citrus) and herbs,” Siamilandu said.

“Bream is a particularly juicy white fish with a pleasantly neutral flavour and a slight sweetness. For these reasons, it can be cooked either with delicate flavours that allow its natural flavour to shine through, or with more robust ingredients, which demonstrate the bream’s suitability as a blank canvas for punchier sauces,” said Siamilandu.

“Try cooking bream very simply with a squeeze of lemon and salt, or add some South East Asian aromatics, such as lime leaves, lemongrass and galangal. Whole fish can be marinated (for example in a curry paste), but take care not to leave too long as any salt or citrus ingredients will begin to cure/cook the flesh – 20 minutes should be plenty.”

He added a whole, round fish like sea bream that is perfect for the barbecue.

“Make a few slashes in the thickest parts of the flesh, rub with oil and season before placing onto a hot grill. Make sure you don’t try to flip your fish before it naturally releases itself from the grill bars, otherwise the skin will stick. You could also use a fish cage to stop this from happening and make turning the fish much easier. Whole white fish or fillets are ideal for steaming; try pouring a sizzling oil of spring onion, ginger and garlic over the just-steamed fish at the table, or explore our full sea bream recipe collection for more inspiration,” he said.

Lovejoy Chinyama, who visited Kariba last week, said her family enjoyed grilled and fried fish but thought of doing things differently.

“I decided to prepare fish stew and they loved it. It was so delicate, flaked as you cut through with a fork, knife or spoon. It was simply enjoyable,” she said.

John Moesha, a tourist from South Africa who was recently booked at Waterfront resort in Kariba said he found out that when preparing fish, removing the scales and fins was his least favourite part.

“In fact, at this particular time I got cut by the fins on my middle finger as I was cutting them off,” he said.

Asked about the best fish recipe, fishing expert Rhodes Madyira said; “The bream is usually sold whole, or filleted. Always look for clear, non-cloudy eyes when buying fish, and avoid any that have a strong smell; fish should smell faintly of the dam, but not overly ‘fishy’. Avoid any with obvious signs of damage to the tails, fins or flesh.”

Lake Kariba boasts of over 40 different fish species ranging from shoals of kapenta to the aggressive tiger fish.

The bream and the tilapia which are very similar though, in both appearance (and taste), and are very popular.

– CAJ News


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