Tag Archives: rice

Tea Smoked Fish

We love smoked fish and had the desire to make some. We were anchored at Langkawi and we had a couple of problems to overcome before we could make our own smoked fish. The first was we didn’t have a smoker and the second is we could not find any hickory wood chips (or similar) on the island.

Not usually one to be deterred from doing something just because it is not straight forward, Dwayne set about thinking about how to make an easy smoker. He came up with something we could use on the beach with two aluminium foil trays, some bulldog clips and a rack.

In the meantime I had decided we could use a tea mixture instead of wood chips as the smoking mix and set about making something that may just add a delicious flavour to our fish.

This is what we came up with…

For the smoker…

2 aluminium foil trays
6 bulldog clips
1 oven rack or trivet
1 empty beer can
white spirits (metho)
(or coals or wood for fire)




For the brine…

1 cup of water
1/4 cup salt
1/4 cup tightly pack brown sugar

For the tea smoke mixture…

1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise
2 clove
1 cup of uncooked rice
1/2 cup of tea
1/4 cup sugar

And this is how we smoked our fish…

I made the brine by dissolving the salt and sugar into 1/2 a cup of boiling water. Then I add 1/2 a cup of ice cold water. I then let the brine cool down before I added the fish.

I let the fish soak in the brine for 1/2 hour, then removed it and dried it with paper towels. Then set it in the fridge until we were ready to smoke it.

For the tea smoking mixture, I crushed up the cinnamon stick, star anise and cloves in my mortar and mixed it with the tea, sugar and rice.

When we were organised we went to the beach to set up our smoker.

Once on shore we placed some of the tea mixture on the bottom of one of the trays then, because my rack doesn’t have legs, we used some old rocks from the beach and placed the rack on those so it was sitting over the tea mix. Next we placed the fish on the trivet and topped with the other tray. Using the bulldog clips we secured the two trays together. The ‘smoker’ was then placed on top of a couple of bricks allowing space for the burner underneath.

Now we needed a flame. Dwayne, always willing to do one for the team, then skulled a can of beer, proudly producing the much needed burner equipment. He cut the beer can in half and filled it with dry sand and then poured the white spirits over the sand. He lit this mix up and placed it under the tray…. we now had our smoker and we could sit back with a refreshing glass of white wine while we let the smoker do its job.


(Alternatively you can use coals as your heat source or even a wood fire.)

We smoked the fish for about an hour. The cooking time will obviously depend on how hot you have it cooking at.

We were extremely happy with the result! Next time I’ll tell you how to make my yummy smoked fish chowder!

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Tea Smoked Fish and how to make a quick disposable smoker!


Stuffed Squid in a Rich Tomato Sauce

As we sailed amongst the islands off the west coast of Borneo, we were able to purchase fish and squid from the fisherman that visit us, when we drop anchor for the night. The squid, used for this recipe, we bought off a fisherman at Pulau Bawal and the fish I use to stuff the squid was a mackerel we traded a mobile phone and a pair of sunnies for, when anchored off Pulau Genting.

Stuffed Squid in a Rich Tomato Sauce
Stuffed Squid in Rich Tomato Sauce

It had been two weeks since we had been able to get fresh fruit and veg and  I used my last fresh tomato for this recipe. At the time we had been eating rice with almost every meal. Every time I cook rice I will cook a cup of rice and I then use the left over to make rice cakes or I heat it up with curry sauce etc. This time I used it to stuff my squid.

OK so this is what I did…

I made a stuffing for the squid with:

  • about 1/2 cup of left over cooked rice
  • a small fillet of mackerel (finely chopped) about 100g
  • 1 large red chilli, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped,
  • 5 small asian shallots, finely chopped
  • about 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Mix it altogether and stuff it into the squid tubes. Close each tube with a toothpick. Cook the squid tubes for 5 mins to brown them slightly and then removed them from the pan

Stuffed Squid in a Rich Tomato Sauce
The prepared stuffed squid tubes

For the sauce…

I heated oil in the fry pan and fried:

  • 1/2 head of garlic (about 6 cloves), chopped
  • 3 small hot chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 large red chilli, chopped
  • 8 small asian shallots, chopped
  • about 80g anchovy fillets
  • 2 Tablespoons capers, chopped
Shallots, garlic, chilli and lots of anchovy!
Shallots, garlic, chilli and lots of anchovy!

I fried this until it was cooked and the garlic and shallots had softened. I then added:

  • 1 can of tomatoes, diced
  • 3 Tbs tomato paste
  • dried italian herbs and black pepper to taste.

I brought it to the boil and then simmered the sauce for about 15 minutes, after which I added the stuffed squid tubes. I then simmered it until the flavours had developed into a rich, spicy, flavoursome sauce and the squid were cooked through (adding water as necessary). I served the squid with rice.

Stuffed Squid in a Rich Tomato Sauce
Stuffed Squid in a Rich Tomato Sauce

The left overs

I used the left over sauce the next day with some mackerel fillets. I cooked the mackerel then added the sauce to the pan with the fish and simmered until heated through. I served it with pasta. Yum!

Spicy Crayfish Risotto

I made this risotto while we were anchored in Darwin Harbour awaiting our visa and paperwork to set sail for Indonesia. The crayfish was caught on our way to Darwin as we cruised the Great Barrier Reef.

SPICY CRAYFISH RISOTTO made with a crayfish caught on the Great Barrier Reef

I have never made a risotto before, so I googled to get some ideas. In the end I combined some of my favourite flavours to make the risotto I had envisioned. Yay!

Ingredients for my crayfish risotto, chorizo, garlic, chilli, mushroom

This is what I did… I melted butter in a large pan and sautéed finely chopped onion and garlic, diced chorizo and sliced chilli until the onion had softened.


Next I added the rice and cooked it for approximately four minutes “toasting it”. This step apparently determines the final texture of the risotto. It heats the outside of the rice quickly thus preventing it from breaking and seals in the starch.

I then added a cup of white wine. On medium heat I cooked it until all the liqud was nearly absorbed. I then began the task of adding 1/4 of a cup of hot fish stock at a time, waiting for each to be absorbed before adding more, all the while stirring. When the rice was nearly done (a taste test will tell you) I added sliced mushroom, heaps of tarragon and the lobster.

SPICY CRAYFISH RISOTTO made with tarragon, chorizo, mushroom, chilli, garlic and crayfish
Spicy Crayfish Risotto

Was so good!