I saw some tilapia on sale at the market for only $2 a pound, for the whole fish with the head on and everything (but scaled and gutted). What's the best way to cook a whole fish? I plan to cook these over an open fire while camping.
Baking or steaming works well for tilapia, and it's going to make it easier to deal with whole ones and make sure they cook through (as well as being good for flavour and texture). In your particular circumstances I think I'd want to wrap in foil to protect and keep moisture in, stuff with anything else tasty you have handy, and bake over hot embers, or otherwise steam in a covered vessel. A covered camping pan should be fine for the latter as long as you don't cook too quickly and make sture it stays moist (concentrating on cooking mostly with steam rather than trying to open fry at a high temperature). Another method which takes a bit more skill that should work is cooking on a wooden spit over the hot embers of a low fire (this is good with whole trout, and tilapia is a fairly simlilar fish). Hope that helps!
Bit late on the uptake (im always the last to a party!) but my favourite way to cook whole fish is to get lemongrass, Vietnamese mint and basil, limes and chilli and stuff the inside cavity with them then a little garlic/butter on the skin (as anything acidic will start the cooking process and may dry out the flesh) wrap in foil and let to steam. Perhaps a little white wine in there as well for good measure and steamy goodness. The flesh takes on the flavours from inside really subtly and the steam/bake keeps everything moist and yummy.
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