Nitchkey’s Famous Fish

Last year with the Primary Health School, we went on patrol to the North Coast of Oro Province. During our travels on the sea, our guards and local health workers spent a fair amount of time fishing. One night, we had a feast and Nitchkey, a community healthcare worker (CHW), decided to fry us some fish. I had never seen Papua New Guinean men cook, nor tasted any of these guys cooking. The fish was good. But didn’t strike me as the best fish ever… maybe because it was late and I was starved.

This year, working alongside the same health workers, I told my school that they would have amazing fried fish from Nitchkey. Maybe raising the bar with expectations ;) Little problem as the guy never had the time to fish… My team started to doubt that he could actually catch fish, let alone cook.

One fine day, he came to see me in clinic, asking for flour and soy sauce. I dropped everything and went to find him his ingredients. One of my teammates looked fairly confused and asked what was going on. “We’re going to eat fish!”, I said. I can’t tell you all that goes in this recipe (partly because I went back to clinic once I got the cook his ingredients) but this time around it was definitely worth waiting for! This was the second best fish in the world next to salmon, my personal favorite! When asked how to make it, the answer I got was: “Ask a man to catch you some white belly fish, and fry it with flour, soy sauce, chilies, garlic and onion!”

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