Murray Cod Cutlets

Murray Cod are a gigantic inland fish leftover from ancient times. They live in the very veins of outback NSW and Victoria in the mighty Murray and Darling rivers and tributaries. If you haven’t camped by the banks of one of these rivers yet, then you simply haven’t lived.

The fish can grow to enormous proportions compared to their environment, growing well in excess of 100 pounds, which is old money for ‘bloody huge’. These days, a 20 to 30 pound fish will readily take a lure and make for some good sport fishing, and give you an esky full of meat to go home with. Anything bigger than this, just take its photo and return it, as we need fish like this in our rivers to catch and kill the rabbits of the river system, the European Carp. The big buggers aren’t much good for eating anyway and a photo and the satisfaction of doing the right thing are far better than a moth riddled trophy with plastic eyes hanging on the wall.

Murray Cod have another almost supernatural power, and that is they somehow tend to grow longer and get heavier in pubs after they have been caught. It’s a wonder more fishermen aren’t killed by these monsters flopping about the floors of inland pubs.

What you need

  • A Murray Cod too big to fillet. (Lucky bugger for catching it) 
  • Sharp knife 
  • Flour 
  • Lemons 
  • Black fresh ground pepper 
  • Lift to the pub

What you do

Rush to the pub and spend an hour or so bragging about the monster you winched up the bank with your Landcruisers power winch earlier on, buy a slab of beer and head back to camp before the fish gets to big kill.

When you catch your fish, kill him with a pointy sharp knife stabbed directly into his brain. He will die instantly and painlessly and the meat will be remarkably better. We use this method now with all fish that we catch and some restaurants will only buy fish they know have been killed in this way.

Simply slice fish cross ways over his back, dust in flour and drop into a simmering camp oven with half an inch of olive oil simmering away in it.

Cook until golden brown on each side and serve with lemon slices and black pepper.

Tricks & Tips

Hang the fish up by his nose end and make a cut through his tail for an inch or so up into his flesh. Let him bleed for an hour. During this time you can scale him and give him a good wash. Dry with plenty of scrunched up newspapers to remove all traces of sticky slime, this will taint the flavour if you don’t do it.

I often get told about Murray cod and Yellowbelly being muddy to taste, mostly this is because of bad preparation. The other part which is best removed is the fat line on either side of the backbone. It is quiet prominent and will give the fish a strong oily taste that is not liked by some people.


Barramundi doesn’t hold a candle to it.