Big Fish Stomach

Ingredient Name:  Big Fish Stomach, belly or abdomen
 
Traditional Chinese Name:  大魚 (dà yú )
 
What is this?
  • The stomach, belly or abdomen of a fish
  • The mid-section is often the meatier part of the fist and with the Chinese, it is said to be the sweetest
  • This part can be steamed, fried or boiled in a variety of dishes
  • There aren’t too many small bones in this section and often contain long, large bones that form the shape of the fish

How do I prepare it?

  • Descale if needed (although the fish vendor will do this for you)
  • Wash thoroughly in cool water
  • Can season with a teaspoon of salt and let sit in the refrigerator
  • It is ideal to buy this fish fresh and use within a day
  • Create deep, long cuts into the fish for easier cooking
  • In a frying pan with some oil and 2 pieces of ginger and fry on low-heat until crispy and brown
  • Use a soup bag when boiling

Where can I buy this?

  • You can buy the Big Fish from any wet mart in Hong Kong

What is the cost?

  • An extremely cheap and affordable fish – a stomach can cost around $20 HKD

Any benefits?

  • Fish are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which act as a natural blood thinner and anti-inflammatory
  • They are also a good source of protein without the high saturated fats
  • Since the fish is boiled, it is a healthy way to consume it

Any precautions?

  • There are fears of increased mercury in large fish, although the Big Fish isn’t too large and not considered a high risk mercury fish (unlike mahi mahi or canned tuna)
  • Use soup bag when boiling to prevent scattering of fish bones, which can be a potential risk for children

Any substitutes?

  • Any type of fish is a good substitute (little or big)

Grass Carp Fish

Ingredient Name: Grass Carp Fish or White Amur
Traditional Chinese Name: 鯉魚 (wan yú)
What is this?
  • A herbivorous, freshwater fish
  • They were first used as a source of food for the Chinese, but later introduced to Europe and US as weed control fish since they are herbivorous
  • A relatively medium-large sized fish with a long torpedo body and silver scales
  • The entire fish can be used in soups, depending on the type of soup.  The head, meat strips and tail are most common

How do I prepare it?

  • Descale if needed (although the fish vendor will do this for you)
  • Rinse under cool running water
  • Mildly season with salt and let it stand for an hour
  • Create deep, long cuts into the tail for easier cooking
  • In a frying pan with some oil and 2 pieces of ginger and fry on low-heat until crispy and brown

Where can I buy this?

  • You can purchase this in most asian supermarkets
  • At the wet mart, you can purchase this fresh (all parts of the grass carp)

What is the cost?

  • Fresh grass carp tail is very affordable coming in at $13 – $15 HKD / tail depending on size and weight

Any benefits?

  • Fish are a good source of Omega-3 fatty acids, which act as a natural blood thinner and anti-inflammatory
  • They are also a good source of protein without the high saturated fats
  • Since the fish is boiled, it is a healthy way to consume it

Any precautions?

  • There are fears of increased mercury in large fish, although the carp isn’t too large and not considered a high risk mercury fish (unlike mahi mahi or canned tuna)

Additional Information?

  • Frozen grass carp can keep in the freeze for at least 2 weeks, although fresh consumption is preferred

References:

Golden Threadfin Bream

Ingredient Name: Golden Threadfind Bream or Hung Sam

Traditional Chinese Name: 紅衫魚 (hóng shān yú)

What is this?
  • A type of fish that is found in the Western Pacific
  • The Chinese name is directly translated as “Red Shirt Fish” which means the fish is colored red
  • It is a popular type of fish found in the East and South China Sea
  • They reach maturity in less than 15 months and do not grow very large in size, reaching 2 feet in length at most
  • Since they can be purchased relatively small in size, a whole batch is ideal for soup

How do I prepare it?

  • If you are buying frozen, you will have to thaw the fish first by letting it sit in room temperature for a few hours
  • Clean the fish inside and out, removing all internals and cutting the fins off
  • Use a bit of salt on the inside and outside of the fish and let it stand for an hour
  • In a pan with a moderate amount of oil, fry the fish on medium heat until thoroughly cooked and the skin is crispy and brown (this will ensure that the fish doesn’t fall apart too much in the soup and give it lots of flavour)
  • USE A FISH BAG!  These are useful in soups (it will keep all the bones and fish together).  Definitely use this if you’re giving this soup to your children.  The bags are disposable.

Where can I buy this?

  • You can buy this fish fresh in Hong Kong wet marts and supermarkets – be sure to ask the vendor to de-scale and clean the fish for you
  • In Canada, you can purchase this fish frozen in Asian supermarkets

What is the cost?

  • Frozen golden threadfin bream costs around $3.99 CAD per pound
  • Fresh golden threadfin bream costs around $40 – $60 HKD per pound

Any substitutes?

  • Most any little fish can substitute the golden threadfin bream in soups
  • Ideally, use fish that have scales (this is especially true in women who are doing confinement because non-scaled fish are considered poisonous)

Any benefits?

  • It is a very affordable fish to use for soups (as compared to other fish)
  • Fish are low in saturated fat and have a high content of Omega-3 fatty acids (which are good for the heart)
  • Fish are high in protein with the fewest calories as compared to other meat choices

Any precautions?

  • If you’re purchasing fresh fish, be sure to check the gills to make sure they are bright red (which means its still fresh)
  • Avoid purchasing large fish for soups, as it can potentially contain higher levels of mercury and toxins

Additional Information?

  • Frozen fish can keep in the freezer for up to 6 months
  • Fresh fish should be consumed within 2-3 days

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