As long as there were fish, then the cooperation between Ah Meow and Crispy Noodles would continue to bring about a good harvest.
Crispy Noodles was adept at using his tail as a masquerade for a worm or a waterweed to attract the fish to come closer, while Ah Meow was both fast and accurate. As long as the fish approached the surface of the water, it was doomed.
They happened to be located just above the swarms of fish. Li Du continued to throw bait into the water to attract the salmon to swim up, while Crispy Noodles swung his tail to attract the salmon, then Ah Meow would strike.
With each of them in their respective roles, their combined forces earned them a total of five red salmon.
Hans raised his fishing rod as he looked on enviously. With a tinge of jealousy, he said, "D*mn, so many fish. Why are none over here at my side?"
Li Du shrugged. "You better reflect on itfancy losing out to an ocelot and a raccoon. What use are you then?"
Hans looked up and sneered, "Hey, look at Crispy Noodles, that little b*tch. Such a little b*tch, swinging his tail so vigorously."
Crispy Noodles heard his name being mentioned but could also make out the unfriendly tone. He threw Hans a look of disdain in response.
At the end of the line was Brother Wolf, who would clean up all the fish that were caught. Big Quinn placed the smoke-free charcoal he had brought onto the boat in the grill and started to fire it up.
Another fish was caught. Six big fish was more than enough for them, even taking into consideration Godzilla the food guzzler. Otherwise, three fish was enough for them to eat.
The red salmon's flesh was very thick. There were hardly any bones and internal organs. Each fish was meaty and full of flesh.
"Cut the last fish into slices, and we can have sashimi," Li Du said.
Hans asked, "Did you bring wasabi?"
Li Du said, "There's chili sauce, just as tasty as a dip."
Hans was speechless.
Brother Wolf washed the first few fish and, following Li Du's instructions, he split the fish by slicing through the middle of their spines. There was no fishy smell to the red salmon, so there was no need to rid the fish of itthis saved him a lot of effort.
Ingredients such as onions, potatoes, cabbage and other vegetables they had bought from the Native American stores.
Big Quinn put the tin foil on the tray and asked, "Boss, are you braising it? This is for grilling? Or for the stew?"
Li Du speared the fish with a skewer. "No, grill it first."
The fish in the skewer was being rotated in the flames of the grill. He continued to brush it with olive oil to ensure that the fish would be grilled thoroughly and not scorched.
In this aspect, Big Quinn was the expert. He took over the grilling of the fish and got busy.
"After all five fish are grilled, put them in. This must be braised," Li Du instructed him.
In fact, according to the traditional practice, fish should not be grilled over a fire but in an oven. However, how were they going to get hold of an oven onboard the boat?
In addition to not having an oven, there was also no pot. The chilli oil and sesame oil had been prepared in town beforehand.
Li Du had his fellow countrymen, who had eaten grilled fish there, to thank. These gourmands had prepared more than enough Chinese seasonings like peppercorn, star anise, and cinnamon, and had left them behind when they had traded with the Native Americans.
The tray could fit a maximum of two fish. When Big Quinn was done with the grilling, Li Du put the fish and ingredients into the tray, then added water, chili oil and sesame oil before braising it.
As it would not be easy to make sure the fish were fully cooked when grilling over the fire, Li Du wanted to braise the fish for a while longer. He laid out the fish meat sliced by Brother Wolf and invited everyone to start on the salmon sashimi first.
The highlight was actually the red salmon's eggs, otherwise known as "caviar." Although it was not the top grade top sturgeon caviar, it was still considered a luxury item.
Brother Wolf was smart; after removing the caviar with his deft hands, he sprinkled fine salt on it, marinating it.
The caviar could be eaten with bread and butter. Li Du had planned ahead and made sure to bring these items.
Two slices of fresh bread were smeared with butter before the orangey-red caviar was dropped on topthis looked even more tempting than grilled fish.
Victoria and Ivana tucked in heartily, while Li Du fed the three furkids with fish meat.
The red salmon here had a very high fat content. The fish meat was fine, firm and glossy. Ah Meow and Crispy Noodles devoured their meal contentedly.
Ah Ow was not as interested in fish. After eating a few slices, she turned around and ran to Victoria and Ivana to ask for bread.
This had nothing to do with her natural dietary preference. When she had been young, Sophie had often dipped bread in soup boiled with meat to feed her, so as to help her better digest it. As a result, she had remembered the taste of bread and was also used to eating carbohydrates.
Hans looked at Ah Ow, who was eating the bread with relish. "In time to come, this silly kid is going to be raised as a dog."
Ah Ow heard the malice in his tone and glared at him. She bared her teeth as an aggressive sign and tried to put up a strong front.
On the top of the stove, the fish soup bubbled. A tantalizing aroma wafted out from the red salmon, which had grilled to a beautiful golden color.
Li Du tore off half of the grilled fish and divided it between Ah Meow and Crispy Noodles. Coupled with the fish slices, the two of them were soon satiated.
After feeding these little guys, they started to eat the grilled fish.
The Sichuan grilled fish didn't conform to the American palate. Although there were not many fish bones, the flavor was overpowering. After taking a few pieces of fish, the two young girls couldn't take it and resumed eating bread with caviar instead.
Li Du tasted the fish, and after making sure it was cooked, he nodded. "Come, let's eat."
Using a fork, he stuffed a snow-white piece of fish meat into his mouth. Tender and springy, the fish tasted fresh and sweet, exceeding the taste of the grass carp and other types of carp.
Godzilla, Big Quinn, and Brother Wolf demolished the food quickly. Hans ate two pieces and stopped. Seeing that the rest were tucking in with gusto, he asked quizzically, "Are you guys used to the taste?"
Godzilla said, "As long as it's edible. Doesn't matter if I'm used to the taste."
Brother Wolf said, "I have eaten cow's dung before when I was on a combat exercise out in the field."
Big Quinn said, "This is authentic Chinese food. Have you any idea how much money you would have to pay to eat it in a restaurant?"
Hans had no response.
Regardless of whether the rest could get used to eating the food, Li Du was very at home eating it. But because the seasoning was not that authentic, the dish was not as successful as he had wanted. The meat quality of the red salmon had rendered the shortcomings insignificantthe end result was still delicious.
The water in the river was peaceful, but it did not flow.
The boat moved along in the river; the Colorado River was very clear. In early winter, the sun's rays were still warm, and so the wind gusting on them was not that cold.
The leaves from the surrounding trees had fallen; only some pine trees had remained green. Taking a look around, Li Du thought the environment looked a little gloomy.
At this time, the poem that he had failed to recollect came to mind. 'The leaves had fallen in the boundless forest, as the waters in the Yangtze river surge forward!'
The fish dish was a perfect complement to the wintry weather. Li Du already perspired profusely as he enjoyed his meal.
As they ate, they felt the heat. Both Brother Wolf and Godzilla began to undress.
Not far from them, some people were fishing from a small boat. As they passed them, they looked on enviously. Someone even commended them. "Hey buddies, really enjoying life, eh!?"