Celebrity square meals #12: Ben Fogle's Desert Island Dish

Saturday 08 November 2003 01:00

I find recipes a little like jokes; in one ear and out the other, and this is just about the only recipe I can ever remember. I picked it up in Fiji last year. It's unconventional, and more Ray Mears than Rayburn, but I guarantee it will be one of the most satisfying dishes you will ever prepare. I have since tried it out in Canada, Barbados and the Isle of Wight.


1 Ocean (preferably warm)
1 Fishing Rod
1 Whitebait
1 Rock pool
1 Lemon
1 Chilli
1 Fire
Now you could try this in England, but I think it is far more effective on a remote tropical beach with your loved one.

Find a secluded rock pool close to the water's edge and build a small fire using driftwood collected from the shoreline.

Attach the whitebait to the rod and cast out into the ocean. Wait for a larger fish to attach itself to line, reel in and subdue as necessary. Scale and gut accordingly.

Evict any pool-residents (the lemon and chilli may sting the crabs' eyes ). Chop lemon and squeeze into salty water. Add chopped chilli and stir. Place whole fish in pool and leave to marinade for 5 minutes. Spread fire to ensure minimum flame, place fish in centre, turning frequently until cooked. Remove fish from fire. You can now pick succulent chunks of fish with your fingers and dip it in rock-pool marinade for added flavour. The perfect Castaway dish to impress Lucy Irvine, Joanna Lumley or Brook Shields.

PS If you fail to catch a fish, you can always use the whitebait.

Ben Fogle's 'The Teatime Islands: Journeys to Britain's Faraway Outposts' is published by Michael Joseph, £18.99

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