this is a story by my brother Matt. What is a ‘ting burger I hear you ask? (I can’t actually hear you PS)… read on and find out. G

                THE “TING” BURGER

Yeah I know, what on earth is a ting burger? ‘Tis a rather simple yet affective fish burger, and this is the story, no wait, the adventure, of how it all came about. If memory serves it was a regular Saturday afternoon, myself and my BFF, Malcom, were on the plonk, just hangin’ out telling each other how good we were when I had an idea! Doesn’t happen very often these days but my brain seemed to be functioning and I had an idea.

”Lets go fishing tomorrow”.

Mal’s right into fishing. He’s lived in the area his whole life, never been anywhere, actually I think once he got as far as Busso but that’s it, he’s pretty much indigenous to the area, you call upon him to track down missing people. You wanna catch fish, you ask Malcom.

“Waddaya wanna catch?” he asks.

I had this weird hankering for some pan fried whiting. “Whiting”, I said.

“Whiting hey, whiting ya reckon, you wanna catch some whiting, you catch the shrimp you catch the whiting”, was his reply. I had no idea what he was talking about. Shrimp, whiting? I wasn’t making a marinara gumbo! I looked confused and Malcom just shook his head.

“Bait! You silly twat. Whiting can’t resist live shrimp”, Mal said. “ Oh, I see. How do you catch shrimp”, I asked. “With a shrimp trap you idiot”, replied Mal. Hmmph. Makes sense. The only problem being we didn’t have any shrimp traps. We had to make some. Both of us have seen enough episodes of MacGyver to know how to make shit so it was simply a matter of finding some materials. Hanging plant baskets were to be the framework, lined with shade cloth. Easy. I’d seen a couple of baskets lying around Mals house but bugger me, his lovely wife went and put plants in ’em. Who does that? Now what are we gonna do? Yep, that’s right, we ripped the plants out, tipped the dirt out and took the baskets. “Do you think she’ll notice?” I asked. “Nah we’ll be right” Mal replied.

(just between me and you I don’t recommend the approach we took)

Another small wading pool sized glass of the good stuff and it was time for me to drive home. I live 30m away, on the same block, hate walking, extremely lazy.

Now, I like to sleep in. Malcom doesn’t. So at some god forsaken hour Mal’s on me front porch bangin’ on me front door! “Are you masterbating?”, he yelled. “Yes”, came my reply. “Well don’t. Get up. We’re going fishing!” still yelling.

Clearly I’d forgot. So much to my disappointment I got up, made a coffee and wandered down to Mals. “One foot in front of the other, one foot in front of the other.” Sometimes this can be tricky.

We were to be accompanied by friends Jnr and big head Ed. Jnr holds the state record for biggest marlin on 4kg line. Let’s see him catch a whiting. Ed has a normal sized head, I just made that up on the day and it’s kinda catchy.

Fishing gear check, shrimp traps check. “Can we stop off at the bottlo on the way?” I asked. “It’s seven o’clock in the morning Beard!” (that’s what everyone calls me, “Beard”) Shot down in flames. Guess that’s a no!  Off we went, destination Augusta. 20 min down the road.

We rocked up at the town jetty, there were a few young fellas down there having a go, so we started throwing our weight around. “This is our jetty boys!” Credit to the little tigers, they put up a hell of a fight.

We lowered the baited traps into the river. Time check. 7.34am, November 15th, sky partly cloudy, wind direction WSW, temp. fucking cold. With the shrimp coming in thick’n’fast it wasn’t long before we’d baited and lined the shallows of the river and moments later our first fish. A lovely yellowfin whiting, 30 plus cm, things were looking good. Jnr wasn’t much interested in catching whiting. “Youz can play around with those tadpoles all ya like. I’m gonna catch me a real fish!” he reckons. Off he went to the end of the jetty with half a fur seal hanging off the end of his line in chase of the elusive 2m skippy found only in the sheltered estuarine waters of the blackwood river. Needless to say that one got away. Again. We had our bag limit by 10am. Maybe a few extras but all well over size. Ok, so we didn’t have anything to measure ’em with, we just went off the Mals eye. He quite possibly needs glasses. “C’mon then. Let’s go” I said. “ The bottleshop’s open now”.

The fishing trip had been a great success, we came, we saw, we kicked ass. Then we caught some fish. Except Jnr. The white whale had eluded him again. “I’ll get you next time gadget” were his parting words.

We all know what goes up must come down. Fishing, especially catching fish is a real high. Having to clean them is the comedown. This is when you wish you’d caught one big fish instead of 30 little ones. So with my share all wrapped up I went home. I was to eat alone. This isn’t a sad ending it’s just safer that way. Rambling aside, here’s the recipe sort of thing. Being a food blog ’n all.

Fresh whiting fillets, skinned(optional, at least scale ’em) and boned. More the merrier

Fresh bread, white bread, don’t be such a tree hugging hippee and go buy a loaf of Mightysoft. Fresh, soft, light’n’fluffy. Mmmmm

Tartare sauce, freshly made or store bought it doesn’t matter. This is the piece de resistance.

And that’s it. 3 ingredients. Cheap as chips yet rather gourmet.

Butter, marg or some kinda spread is optional. I’m not health conscious so I cake the shit on. If ya really want you can add some fancy lettuce, tomato and red onion of sorts but for me this dish is all about the subtle, delicate flavours of the whiting…   Smothered in tartare. Yeeeeeeeew

Method – Dust the fillets in flour shaking off any excess, then dip into beaten egg and cover in bread crumbs.(I blend my own) Put a frying pan on high heat, melt a knob of butter with a splash of olive oil (you can use whatever you like, this is my preference) and fry fillets, a few at a time (never overload a pan) until golden and crisp, like 1min either side depending on size, then remove to absorbent paper and continue cooking the rest. Spread ’em out on the absorbent paper, stacking will cause sogginess (not a real biggy, but crisp is were it’s at). Now piece it all together and don’t be shy with the tartare. Simplicity at its best.

Now if you don’t know how to fish or you’re just a lazy prick you can buy the fish. I don’t think I’ve ever bought fish. I’ve stolen it before but never paid for it. Nothing’s as fulfilling as providing for yourself. Unless of course, that saucy young blonde down the road works at the fish shop, then by all means, buy it. I’m serious. If I see you fishing I’m gonna club ya!

Ok, well, that’s me done.

‘Til next time,

Beard out.

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