If you’re wondering how to cook carp on the grill farm style, it’s all about fresh ingredients and family time! As you likely know, carp is a freshwater fish that can be found in fishing holes all over the world. Here’s how to prepare it.
What You'll Learn Today
- What is the Best Way to Cook Carp?
- Is Carp a Good Fish to Eat?
- How to Clean and Prepare Carp?
- Can I Cook Fish Directly on the Grill? Yes! Here’s How
- What Should I Serve With Carp?
What is the Best Way to Cook Carp?
There are so many different ways you can cook carp! It can be baked, either whole or in pieces, but this will require frequent basting (like butter).
Of course, carp can also be cooked like your other favorite types of fish in sautees, stir fries, soups, and chowders, too. You can even make Asian carp chili or carp burgers!
However, if you really want to impress your dinner guests, the best way you can cook carp is to cook it on the grill farm-style! We’ll tell you how to do it in this article.
Is Carp a Good Fish to Eat?
Many anglers will tell you that you can’t eat carp, but don’t believe them!
Carp might not have the refined, highly sought-after taste of other fish, like salmon, but if you like a stronger “fishy” flavor, then carp is the perfect choice for you.
There are hundreds of different ways you can prepare it to suit your tastes – and it’s rich in nutrients, too. It has more omega-3 fatty acids than most other types of freshwater fish, too, making it a nutritional powerhouse to consider adding to your diet.
How to Clean and Prepare Carp?
Later in this post, I’ll give you some specific tips on how to grill carp. However, it’s important to note that grilling is definitely not the only option when it comes to preparing this delicious fish.
Before you cook it using any style, however, you need to clean it.
Cleaning Out a Carp’s Mud Vein
Your goal when preparing carp should be to cook it as soon as possible after you’ve caught it. Ideally, you should bring the hooked fish home alive – this will be the freshest way to cook and eat it.
In fact, if you have the ability to get a live carp and want to be able to cook it as a whole, which is one of the best ways to do so, you can let it “rest” for a few days to clean out the mud vein.
What does this mean?
Carp are different from other types of fish in that they have a mud vein that can lead to an unpleasant, somewhat gamey flavor in your fish. If you give the carp time to swim around in a tub of fresh water for a few days, that mud vein will be cleaned out and your carp will taste much better.
While the carp is swimming around in this tub, you won’t need to feed it. Just add a teaspoon of salt to the tub of water each day to help expedite the process involved in cleaning out this mud vein.
Once you’ve waited a couple of days, all you need to do is pin the carp against the tub with one hand and use a hammer to stun it with the other. You can then gut it and scale it to get it ready for cooking.
Here’s a video that will show you how to humanely kill a fish:
How to Scale a Carp
When you’re cleaning the carp, the first thing you need to do is scale it. Carp scales are notorious for being extremely large, about ½ an inch wide, in fact.
You can scale your fish by drawing your knife across its body from head to tail.
Press firmly to loosen the scales, then rinse the body of the fish and discard the scales.
Filleting the Carp
Some people recommend cleaning the carp before you fillet it. Believe it or not, though, you can fillet the fish before gutting it to reduce some of the cleanup you’ll need to do. Since everything is still contained behind the bones, you won’t have quite as much work later on.
To do this, start by cutting into the meat that’s right behind the gills. Use a sharp knife for this, as some attention to detail is necessary here.
Next, you’ll cut from the backbone to the ribs, then lift your knife and work back toward the tail. After, flip the fish over and repeat on the other side. Be careful not to cut into the body cavity, since this can puncture the guts.
Skinning and Cleaning the Carp
Once you have the fillets removed, there’s not much you need to do to clean it. The guts will all be removed since you’ve extracted the fillets from the rest of the body.
Give the fish a good rinse to remove any debris before removing the skin.
You can grill a carp with the skin still on but it’s not always the best or most recommended technique for carp. That’s because carp have that mud vein we mentioned earlier – it is unpleasant even if you’ve taken the time to clear it out.
To skin your carp, you will need to start with the fillet resting meat side up on your cutting board. Cut gently along with the width of the end of one fillet with your knife lying sideways in the cut area. Cut with long strokes, holding the skin back with your other hand.
You’ll then remove the mud vein, making a v-shaped cut on either side of the lateral line (this is the dark line you’ll notice). Remove the meat and the vein along the meat.
Can I Cook Fish Directly on the Grill? Yes! Here’s How
It’s so easy to cook carp on the grill.
Just a few minutes to prep and a few minutes on the girl is all it takes. Try not to oversalt – you can add salt later – and be sure to add plenty of oil so the fish doesn’t stick to the grill. That’s especially important if you remove the skin!
Start by raising the fillets and laying them out on paper towels. Use additional towels to pat the fillets dry. Then, place them on a wire rack.
Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the fish, drizzling a teaspoon of olive oil over the fillets. Make sure the oil is evenly distributed. Do all of this while you’re hating up the girl.
How Long Should You Grill Fish?
Let the grill heat up for five to ten minutes, then add the fish to the grill. Let it cook without turning and without opening the lid for seven to ten minutes. Seven minutes is usually ideal for thinner filets, while ten minutes might be necessary for bigger ones.
You’ll know the carp is done when you can use a paring knife or fork to gently peel back a flaky layer of the fillet.
Sprinkle the fillets with a bit of lemon juice and additional salt and pepper – and voila! Farm style carp, ready for the dinner table.
What Should I Serve With Carp?
If you’re planning on serving up carp at your next family dinner on the farm, you need to serve the right side dishes with it! A hearty potato dish or even a side salad will work well with this dish, as will mixed vegetables or rice.
You can really customize your meal to suit the preferences of your dinner guests – so feel free to get creative with how you present your grilled carp! You really can’t go wrong with this versatile fish.
If you’re looking for more farm cooking recipes, check the following guide.