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Fishing contest: Hook, line and sashimi

Saturday May 30, 2020 Written by Published in Entertainment
Ruth Sahay with a sashimi platter. 20052811 Ruth Sahay with a sashimi platter. 20052811

After months of distancing, Cook Islanders will enjoy each other’s company this Queen’s Birthday weekend at church, at nightclubs, on island tours – and the long-delayed tuna fishing contest. 

Raise your glass to Her Majesty, the Queen, because this year her birthday weekend is the long-awaited chance to relax with friends.

The Don Beer Snr memorial fishing competition begins today, after being postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Don Beer Jnr says, choosing tuna as the fish species for the event was an easy decision to make: “Dad loved fishing and tuna was his favourite fish.”

Predators like tuna are able to spend longer periods of time in the deep waters beyond the continental shelf – but they also come up to eat. And that’s when they can be tempted by a lure pulled behind a boat.

The two-day tournament will culminate with weigh-ins at 6pm today and tomorrow. The Game Fishing Club is allowed to open late tonight for physically-distanced karaoke, then the prize-giving will be Monday at 7pm.

With some Covid-19 restrictions still in place, the Queen’s Medals award ceremony for Unakea Kauvai, Ake Lewis, Papa Vaine Mingi and Tangiana Patia will be postponed to a later date.

But there are plenty of other activities going on.

Captain Tama’s Lagoon Cruises have special tours including a snorkelling with a yummy barbeque fish lunch. The boats depart at 11am, with a minimum of 20 adults needed to operate the cruise. Prices are $45 per adult and $20 per child. Ph 27350.

Go Local Cook Islands have special tours this weekend at $30 per person or $25 if you’re in a group of eight or more. Ph 78385.

Club licenses are reverted back to their usual opening hours. Vaiana’s bistro is open Saturday and Monday from 4pm with food available.

Trader Jack’s is open today and has an all-day menu, but is closed on Monday.

The Islander is open for the long weekend, with their usual breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.

On the Rocks night club will reopen for the first time at 4pm today, and cold platters will be available.

The Golf and Bowling clubs will open today from 11am and on Monday from 1pm; the Fishing Club opens today and Monday from 1pm, with food vendor Ray’s Hut open on both days.



Ika mata, by Rangi Mitaera-Johnson

It is best to use fresh fish. Cut your fish into cubes and soak in sea water or salted water for 15 to 20 minutes then strain. Cut up the vegetables you like. Rangi prefers spring onions, purple onions, tomatoes and dill, and lemon rind. If lemons are scarce, she uses ‘poor man’s grapefruit’.

Use a wooden, glass or ceramic bowl for the fish, don’t use metallic or plastic bowls.

Add lemon juice to the fish – no more than five minutes, then strain. Add in the vegetables and fresh coconut cream, check for taste. Always try and mix at the last possible minute before serving.


Sashimi, by Ruth Sahay

Use fresh tuna and the loin sections. Slice the fish tenderly and thinly, and arrange on a plate with wedge of lemon and your sashimi. She uses a Japanese sauce recipe that includes vinegar – the rest is her secret.

But here’s another sashimi sauce recipe you can try: brown sugar, olive oil, kikkoman soy sauce, garlic, chilli, and sweet chilli sauce. You can reduce it on a stove if you wish. Or if you are pushed for time, just kikkoman sauce and wasabi.


Fisherman’s fish head

Clean the head with sea water. Put into a large pot, and half fill with water, then cook gently. Add onions, rosemary, herbs of your choice, salt and pepper.

Turn the head so the other side is submerged, add fresh coconut cream up to a level that covers the whole head.

Green bananas, maniota or taro are the best kinaki for this meal.