Ingredient Name: Snakehead fish, “raw” fish
Chinese Name: 生魚 (shēng yú)
The word sounds like “raw” fish in Cantonese and that’s the idea I had while getting this recipe from my veggie vendor. This readily available fish at most wet marts in Hong Kong comes LIVE – flipping and flopping for your viewing pleasure and is not expensive. I have never eaten this fish before and glad that someone introduced it to me – definitely another breed to my limited repertoire of the huge fish variety in Hong Kong.
What is this?
- A type of predatory fish with a head that resembles that of a snake
- They have become an unwanted fish in natural environments as they eat other fish and have no known enemies in the natural environment – which is why it is a very common and readily available fish in Asia
- Adult snakeheads can grow up to 1m in length, but in general, the wet marts carry ones that are about 30 cm in length
- Commonly eaten in most Asian dishes (soups, fried, stews)
How do I prepare it?
- When purchased, have your fish vendor de-scale, gut and chop your fish into a manageable size
- Rinse with warm water prior to frying
- With a few slices of ginger and a tsp of oil, pan fry your fish before using in soups
- Use a soup bag when boiling in soups
Where can I buy this?
- Available fresh in most wet marts in Hong Kong
- Unsure of availability in North America
What is the cost?
- A 30cm length snakehead fish cost around $13 HKD
- It is considered a very common and accessible fish and therefore very affordable
- Excellent source of protein
- Low in fat
- Be sure to thoroughly clean and cook your fish prior to eating
- Buy your fish from a reputable source
- Any other fish is a great substitute for fish soup