Some of my best memories are with my dad and son fishing for lake trout or as dad called em Macks (mackinaw) on Flathead Lake here in Montana. We’d get up early, drive up to the lake be up there just at sun up and launch the boat on water that looked like glass. We’d watch the eagles and osprey overhead, there’d still be a chill in the air but knew it was gonna be a beautiful blue-sky day.
Those were the good old days, there were many windy, overcast and stormy days that either forced us off the water or made us not launch at all. Dad knew the lake like the back of his hand and we’d troll along the east side of an island at about 80-120’ deep, the fish finder would beep and we’d start eating lunch at 9am. Dad knew many fisherman and they always talked shop, what tackle etc. Interestingly I would watch how differently the guys would handle the fish once caught.
I need to be very clear, when we fished we caught to eat, there was no catch and release unless they were not legal. I have since fly fished and caught and released but that’s another article in itself.
Recipe by Chef Albert Wutsch
- 1-2 lbs Mackinaw fillet, no bones, skin on.
- ¼ c Thai or fish seasonings
- 1 package of Vietnamese rice spring roll papers/15-18 sheets
- 1 package of Thai cellophane noodles (thin rice noodles)
- 1 c very fine sliced carrots
- 1 c very fine sliced green onion
- 1 c fine sliced zucchini or cucumber
- 1 bunch chopped mint (1 c)
- 1 bunch chopped basil (1 c)
- 1 bunch chopped cilantro (1 c)
- 1 btl Thai fish sauce (optional)
- 1 btl Pot Sticker dipping sauce
- 1 btl Thai Sweet Red Chili sauce
Fillet fish, remove pin bones, sprinkle bone side with spices. Grill or roast, when fully cooked, remove skin, break fish into 1” pieces, reserve.
Cook the cellophane noodles, rinse in cold water and reserve.
Thinly slice carrots, green onion and cucumbers, reserve.
Chiffonade the herbs and reserve.
Soak rice papers in room temp water for 1-2 minutes.(don’t over soak or else won’t be able to work with, too long in water papers will get sticky and tear, too short of time, papers will be too brittle and break)
Make one at a time, place soaked paper on cutting board, in center of paper place small amount of cooked noodles, top with four 1” chunks of fish, garnish with carrots, onion, and zucchini. Garnish with lots of chopped fresh herbs. Dash with shot of fish sauce.
Roll as would for a burrito. (start tight roll, tuck ends in and finish rolling) The tighter the better.
To serve: cut in half, serve with dipping sauces. Can be prepared a day in advance, best eaten freshly made.