This is possibly the most spectacular and original way of cooking fish. Or meat, for that matter. The principle involves stretching the fish out on a grill or forked stick and then roasting it over the heat of a bonfire.
This dish is prepared by cutting a 6.5 ft. long piece of wood with a maximum diameter of approx. 1.6 – 2.4 in. Split the wood lengthwise along half its length, starting from the thinnest end. Cut 3 ribs for stretching out the fish. You can also use a specially designed BBQ grid.
Build a bonfire and create a device for holding the piece of wood at a suitable distance from the fire, approx. 19.5 – 27.5 in.
Light the fire and allow it to burn right down because you will be cooking the fish over the heat of the fire, not the flames. It is important to ensure that the fish is evenly exposed to the heat as much as possible.
Clean and wash the fish thoroughly. Feed it down into the split in the piece of wood, tail end first, and hold it firmly in place by winding steel wire around it. Insert the ribs to open the belly of the fish as wide as possible and fasten them as well using the steel wire. Sprinkle salt on the fish and position the wood over the fire. It is a good idea to ensure that the melted fat from the fish does not drip down into the fire, because you do not want the fire to flare up again.
Use a cooking thermometer (preferably two if you have them) to keep an eye on the temperature of the fish meat. When the temperature reaches 140oF, the fish will be ready. If the temperature is too high (over 158oF) there is a chance that the fish could crumble and drop into the fire. If you have to put more wood on the fire it is important to remember to add it on the opposite to where the fish is cooking, otherwise the fresh wood will stop the heat radiating up from the embers!
This dish can be served with a cold parsley and horseradish sauce.