Little did I know there is a fish named Koran (same as the Koran, the holy book of Islam) that is only found in the lake near Pogradec, Albania and one other lake of the world. Egli brought us some, caught by a friend. Now we don’t buy fish in Albania because of how things are kept. I am a little suspect of the quality of the fish locally and the cleanliness of the shops as well as their ability to keep it fresh before selling it. Not to mention, the water pollution here is no small problem. However, in Pogradec, the lake is fresh spring water and the water is not polluted like it is here in Tirana. So when he brought us these fish we decided to give it a go! Egli did ask Robert if I knew how to cook fish. He told him yes. Now that was not a lie, but little did Egli know, we have only bought the fish in nice neat fillets. I have never gutted a fish and Robert didn’t feel obliged to tell him (although he is now probably reading my post… ) So… I finally took them out of the freezer this week and took a stab (literally) at the fish.
I confess, it was gross.
I have seen my dad clean fish he had caught years ago so I had the basic idea, but really I was only guessing. I knew to cut the heads off. And slice down the belly. And push out all the guts with your fingers. I didn’t know they would be such slippery little suckers! And I didn’t know a fish really does have red blood. I don’t know what I thought but that wasn’t it.
Anyway… I finally got it done, baked them in the oven with lemon juice from our tree, a little dill and lemon pepper and VOILA! Even the boys loved it!