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Carp anyone?

Several factors have led me to the decision to fish for and learn to prepare carp this summer: A) it's an invasive species here and could stand some predation B) Many other cultures-outside of the USA- not only eat, but seem to very much enjoy carp C) it is (essentially) free and I am broke

Does anyone have any tips on anything from fishing for to cooking carp or maybe even other rough fish?

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  1. The one time I've eaten carp was in a Chinese restaurant, served whole and smothered in black bean sauce. It was excellent! You would have to make the sauce from scratch, because buying enough of it in those little jars would be too expensive.

    1 Reply
    1. re: GH1618

      I will look into the bean sauce, yum, thanks!

    2. in making gefilte fish-some ppl use a small amount of ground carp

      1 Reply
      1. re: jpr54_1

        I have heard that... I may take a look at some gefilte fish recipes for ideas, too. Thank you :)

      2. You might want to look up 'Karpfen Blau"/Carp Blue. The fish is gently rinsed only ( not scrubbed) and cooked in water, with additions of white wine, vinegar, peppercorns, bay leaves, salt.
        We serve this with sour cream mixed with freshly grated horseradish and grated tart apple. Pretty good! My Mil liked to prepare this dish on New Year's Day to bring you luck for the rest of the year. ( all those scales are supposed to resemble pennies.... )

        1 Reply
        1. re: RUK

          That sounds delicious! Lovely tradition :) Thanks for sharing that!

        2. You must take my response with a grain of salt, because I do not like freshwater fish in general. I remember my grandmother baking a carp. It tasted awful. There are several problems with wild carp. First of all, they tolerate warmer, eutrophic waters....the kind that are green and muddy. This does not contribute to good flavor in fish. In fact, it tends to make the fish taste just like the muddy pond water they live in. You do not mention your area. In general, freshwater fish are more likely to harbor toxins than salt water fish, so mercury and PCBs, dioxins, are a big problem in many areas. In many bodies of freshwater in NY state, Conn., and Mass. there are lots of lakes in which you are simply not allowed to eat the fish due to contamination. Now, maybe if you live in one of the western states, or parts of Minn. or Wis., it may be less of a problem. But carp grow big (check out the website monstercarps.com if it still exists), and are fatty...a recipe for toxicity in poor water. That said.....the traditional method of carp fishing is with doughballs, corn, or simply compressed damp bread. I have had luck simply with worms. In my college days, I caught an 18 lb carp with a worm on 6 lb test line. Took me half an hour to bring in. When I saw it, I was so disgusted that I just cut it free after weighing it. It was hideous. My father couldn't understand why I would release such a delicious fish....................................

          1 Reply
          1. re: EricMM

            I work in natural resources and am pretty familiar with those concerns. Yes, you are definitely right! Fortunately I live in an area with a relatively low risk of contamination-on the St Croix River on the border between MN and WI. And, the carp get pretty darn big here! Thank you very much for the bait tips, that's great! :)

          2. I don't know which species of carp you are talking about, but in Japan, we eat Carp "arai". "arai" is similar to sashimi (raw), but you put them in warm water (122F or so) briefly, and put them in ice water. It basically kills parasites. Or we braise it with sugar + soysauce, the typical method in Japan. The species we eat is Cyprinus carpio. But I'm not particularly fond of carps because it is difficult to remove that strong earthy flavor.

            3 Replies
            1. re: naoki

              Thank you! I love the soy sauce and sugar idea! :)

              1. re: naoki

                Man I wish they served koi no arai in America. I never tried it but it would be nice to have some chefs who can work that art.

                Now back to the subject of invasive carp eating. Sushi is honestly the best entry for the carp. Most people expect odd exotic fishes in sushi restaurants. I think this is a good choice for the Lionfish too. The poisonous fish eating makes great marketing for sushi chefs.

                I posted some koi-arai photos from web below.

                1. re: asiancarpboy

                  Freshwater fish can be very dangerous to eat raw, as they are intermediate hosts for the roundworms that infect freshwater snails. They are sometimes called "liver flukes". Probably deep freezing first would make them safer, if cold enough and for a long enough time, but never fresh.

              2. I considered being a snark jerk "cool in a koi pond with some hyacinth" but really it's the bones that bother me with the variations around here (crappie/croppie, muskelunge etc.) but I understand roasting the bones makes a nice chewy snack treat (not for pets)

                1 Reply
                1. re: hill food

                  Ha ha! Yeah, I have heard that the bones make it tricky to prep. I think that along with the tendency for it to have a muddy flavor are going to be the things to figure out.

                2. I think we used to eat carp either steamed or fried with a sauce made from soy sauce, sesame oil, scallions, ginger and chilies. It was simple but very good. Iraqis have a great recipe for grilled carp (magsouf) rubbed down with spices that would be great in the summertime. Germans and Austrians also have an affinity for carp, so it's worth searching for Austrian carp recipes. You'll find things like the previously mentioned Karpfen Blau as well as carp roasted with dark beer, carp goulash, carp baked on potatoes, etc.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: JungMann

                    All of those sound great, thank you!!

                  2. Google recipes fro Gar Balls..........


                    1. I've never eaten at Joe Tess' Place but their fried carp was featured on Diner's Drive-ins and Dives. They score the carp multiples times (like 1/2 inch apart) and supposedly that takes care of the problem with tiny bones. It looks delicious to me and I would love to try it. You can see how they do it here:


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: seamunky

                        Thank you, seamunky! Another great method, looks delicious!

                      2. Seems like you could address the muddy flavor the same way people do with catfish--soaking in buttermilk or something?

                        +1 on the doughball bait.

                        1 Reply
                        1. Halászlé, a wonderful Hungarian fish soup, is made with carp and a liberal amount of hot paprika. I've only eaten it while traveling in Hungary, but there's a recipe for it in most Hungarian cookbooks and several available by Googling.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: cheesemaestro

                            I have only recently discovered the true merit of paprika and I can imagine the combo. I will definitely look into it. I have been imagining a soup might be a good dish to try carp in. Thank you!

                          2. Whatcha do, see, is get a big stock tank, fill it with water, and keep the carp in there for a few days, Might want to change the water …

                            Okay, so there's no cheap, simple solution to the muddiness except to catch them from clean, clear water. As for the billions of tiny bones, I had a steamed carp at a Chinese restaurant and all those itty bitty bones had melted away, leaving only a relative few big ones! I've not tried it myself, so I don't know if there were any Secret Ingredients involved.

                            1. I just find the carp story interesting. Somebody has to catch on that this is a business or cash waiting to happen. Fish just makes sense. (Referring to the health epidemic). I hope you try various cooking with it. I think the easiest and most tasty is Chinese style steamed carp. Just steam the whole carp with scallion and ginger. Then pour hot oil/soy sauce from pan onto the fish. It'll sizzle. Once mastered, you'll find that this works with bass, snapper, and all sort of fishes. Even fillets.

                              1. There is a carp species that is very popular in Bengali (Indian-Bangladeshi) cooking. If you like South-Asian food, there would seem to be tons of recipes for carp. But I’m not sure how different the fish is from North American varieties. I think the North American aversion to carp is largely irrational. I’ve pasted a couple of links below.



                                1. Carp cakes are good.

                                  Bones can be a problem but if they not taken from muddy water, muddieness should not be a problem.

                                  1. OMG NO, but then I have a pond full of The Emperors Carp(beautiful Koi) out in the yard.

                                    I've been asked if people could bring their fishing poles and I tell them "Only if You want to meet Jesus...Today!!"

                                    Some of them are 2 feet long and 20 years old, and they all have names. I couldn't even wrap my mind about eating ANY kind of carp!!

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Nanzi

                                      I wanna see your pond some day. and not in a predatory way.

                                    2. Dunno how adventurous you are, but there was an episode of Bizarre Foods America set in Minnesota. The host was very impressed by the flavor of smoked carp. Said it tasted like ham, if I recall correctly. Here: http://www.travelchannel.com/tv-shows...