Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More

HAND-LINE FISHING RED SNAPPER! | Cooking Over Open Fire in The Dominican Republic | ASMR (Silent)


I initially wanted to bring a huge box of fruit I collected during my stay, but he insisted he had enough for a full meal. He just indicated that he’d try fishing in a bit, for now he’s going to prepare the fire lay. I think he’s telling me that this is a spot he’s had a fire before. It must have been a long while ago. When he puts his index finger to his forearm, he’s talking about fish, that he’s going to catch them or how big they are and how many there are. I was eager to help, but not interfere with his fire pit, he seemed to want to build it a certain way. I noticed he was quite particular about setting it up perfectly flat. Maybe it was to help balance the pot. At this point, I was really curious to know what he was going to use for fire wood as it’s tropical and not exactly full of dead timber like at home. I think these are dried coconut leaves. I wasn’t really sure how he knew one was dry from another or how to process it down it fuel. Felix works at the beach at the Grand Paradise Resort in Samana, Dominican Republic collecting coconuts for tourists. Felix seemed to key into the bigger thicker pieces. At home, this wouldn’t be nearly enough to get a good fire going and get any coals. I had to resist jumping in here and loading up the fire pit. If you notice, Felix isn’t making a big teepee style fire lay, he’s actually lining up four ends to meet in the middle between the rocks. I wondered how he’d start the fire…. Felix tried and failed a few times trying to start the fire on natural tinders. He didn’t break them up or try to dry them. He then used the plastic bag. The rainy season in the North of the DR is from December to end of January. It still rains periodically, just in shorter bouts. I really wanted to start piling wood on top, but held back as much as I could. This woody material burns surprisingly well. While he wasn’t looking, I fed the fire a little how I would at home, by piling. I wanted to make sure he approved of the wood I was using. I found the fire burned rather well for only having four ends touching together, but it still went out frequently to a dust, though it re-ignited easily each time. Felix pre-caught a couple of fish in the morning just in case. Plantain looks very similar to banana, but aren’t sweet, they are more like a starchy potato. I really liked them. He told me that he caught 10 fish in the morning just on the other side of the resort. There are many different types of snapper. This area is covered in really sharp rock that would be impossible to walk on in bare feet. I think he just found a clam, and said that it would work as bait later. The fork worked really well to de-scale the fish. I might use this myself! Removing the gills… There’s no rush to get things done in the Dominican…”Dominican time” was a thing. I had to get him to stop every once in a while to film, he was a good sport about it. It might be because there aren’t real seasons in the DR. The temperature is quite stable. So there’s always tomorrow…. Suited me just fine. After the fish was cooked, I asked if we should eat the brain or eye…he said no. This was done in order to help the fish take more of the spice he planned to use. This would work well on a small mouth bass! It took us a long time to set up this catch n cook. At first I wasn’t sure if he meant 4 a.m. or 4 p.m. I’d love to know what kind of spice this was. It was full of flavor, but didn’t have any heat. Dominican’s are famous for not liking hot dishes. I think the spice is called adobo, but I wouldn’t know exactly what was in it. If you know, comment! It might even go well on pike! I enjoyed all the Dominican food…I don’t like spicy foods all that much either. I had to replace a lot of the audio in this because it was so windy and the gopro just picked up wind noise. I didn’t bring my main camera because theft of electronics is a real risk in the DR. This is a better shot of how the fire is built. Four main logs touching only in the center. The fish usually move in on a high tide, so this is an ideal time to fish here. I think one of the plates was re-used without washing first! See if you can spot exactly where! Of all those local fruit, Felix only took the sugarcane, and the quenepa. He really wanted me to leave everything else behind. A rock for a sinker…that’s got to be frustrating every time you get snagged. None of the locals I saw used rods, only variations of handlines. We’d only use this type of rig for icefishing. It’s very frustrating otherwise. Felix used just a small piece of fish on a very small hook. Locals don’t wear shorts, they are for “wussies.” He’s pointing at a shark! He doesn’t want it to come in a bite his leg! He wants me to see it so he’s trying to point it out to me. I never really did spot it. He got snagged and lost his hook and rock sinker. I made some fried plantain at home when I got back and it was just as good as it was there! At the end of my trip, I wasn’t able to give any of my fruit away. I got the sense that they didn’t value it very much! Even the resort only served up about 4-5 fruit out of the 100’s they grow there. The plantain was double fried, squished in between the banana peels after the first fry. He picked a leaf to use as an extra plate. The locals seemed to enjoy the limoncello over all the fruit they had…maybe because it was just coming into season. It has a big pit in the center and has a cotton ball feel to it. He’s saying that I’m cutting it wrong. We’ve been doing it wrong all this time! Washing my hands with a leaf… He’s saying there’s too much food here and that I’m going to get fat if I eat it all! With all that oil, it sure was a filling meal! There is a wood press that is normally used to do this. I want to know if I can use the machete to open the passion fruit. “Passion” fruit…you wonder, two fingers deep, slurp, and it’s tangy….hmmmm It’s kind of like grapefruit. Very satisfying to eat. I insist that he show me how to prepare the star fruit. I think he’s telling me that he normally doesn’t eat it…but instead makes a drink in a blender. I was pretty sour, like lemon. If this is laid down horizontally and burred in the beach sand, new shoots will sprout up in 3-4 days. The taste is like white sugar, flavorless, but sweet. It’s also full of fiber, which you must spit out. Some of the fruit I brought with us… I was able to buy almost $100 worth of fruit for $20, and the locals thought I overpaid. If they saw my box of fruit, they would have a chuckle! He’s telling me that he can literally find these fruits all over the place, everywhere. It’s so common, he doesn’t even bother with it. He’ll eat the lime as a drink…. But also add it on top of fish… It was one of the few things that I brought that he approved of. Dominican’s don’t seem to value their fruit and wild resources. Probably because they come so easily to them. He seemed to value the fish as food the most of everything. I harvested this lime from the grounds at the resort. The fish was quite good. This was filmed the day before since the bowls had to be washed well and dried before use. Making a bowl at home would take hours, these come ready made! He’s saying that he’s going to leave it as is, since he had already messed up a few gourds trying to make them perfect. These gourds come rock hard, but the outer shell can be carved to make designs before they dry out completely. Scrubbing with sand removes the slime that coats the shell. I wonder if I could do this! Coconuts are loaded with calories and are a meal themselves. Full of fat and carbs. You just need to climb the tree! People who spoke English were the minority at out resort. Felix must have had a machete accident, as his left thumb is badly scared. But I never did ask. We’d normally drink right out of the coconut, but it’s cool to use traditional gourd containers. The fish wasn’t wasted! Felix objected to eating the avocado by itself, but felt that the plantain gave it enough flavor when combined. No guacamole in the Dominican! I’m saying that I’m full, but he’s welcome to still eat it! A complete meal including fat, carbs and protein, all local! He’s wondering if the camera is running all the time, or just taking pictures. Felix wanted to know if the video would show up on the Internet. I’m telling him that I’ll give him the web address when we get back to the resort. I love bananas, and eat at least one each day! Bananas are local too! At one point while Felix was washing up, I heard machine gun fire. I told him and he wasn’t worried since he figured they were shooting in the other direction! There are armed guards posted at the resort front gate and both ends of the beach stationed full time. We were told not to go to this part of the beach since tourists had been mugged before. I’m telling him that I only want a few pieces to bring back to my wife. Courtney was worried sick about me while filming this video…she’s keeping an eye out for me from the resort. I wanted Felix to try one last time to catch a fish on camera…. He wasn’t too excited about that prospect. Handline fishing must work well enough, or else they would have come up with a more ‘human’ way to catch fish. I couldn’t imagine tying on a rock every time I needed a sinker. Then again, maybe it’s more economical since they snag up so often. If I come back, I’ll have to bring a rod and reel and a pile of sinkers to leave behind. I wonder what Felix would think about the modern gear. A small piece of fish for bait. Maybe he didn’t want to fish anymore due to the prospects of getting his pants wet again after sunset…. Then again…shorts are for wussies 🙂 He told me that there were lots of fish, just out a little deeper.

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