Grilled Kala

Grilled Kala

Kala are known by a few other names. Perhaps you've heard them called "unicornfish," or "cows of the sea" because of their seaweed-grazing capabilities. Anyone who has eaten one probably just knows them as "delicious."

In this video, I spear and prepare a whole kala in the easiest, most traditional way possible: over an open flame. Kala are great grilled whole and even the guts are edible or good for turning into a sauce, although I prefer to leave them for the birds. After gutting the kala and removing the sharp blades from its tail, I lay it down on a wood-fired grill that's giving off low to medium flames and heat. The fish will take 12 to 15 minutes on each side to cook.

Meanwhile, I prepare a simple sauce to pour over the delectable meat. This sauce is usually some combination of butter, garlic, and citrus, reminiscent of the French influences used to cook this fish in Tahiti where it is quite popular. Once the fish is cooked, use a chopstick to gently break the charred skin along the spine and peel the skin back from tail to gill, revealing the perfectly cooked meat. Pour the sauce on the fish directly over the grill and eat straight off the bones with chopsticks or fingers.

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