Fish maw is a good source of collagen and helps with blood circulation. They are prepared usually in a soup or stir fry dish. Like sea cucumbers, fish maw is known to nourish the kidneys, strengthen veins, control bleeding, reduce swelling, and speed the healing of bruised skin. Bladders are also given to mothers recovering from recent child birth to revitalize.
What is fish maw?
- Fish maw is the commercial term for the dried swim bladders of large fish like croaker and sturgeon.
- It has has no fishy taste and absorbs the flavors of other ingredients.
- It is graded according to sex: male bladders are better than female ones.
- For the Chinese, it is considered one of the big four delicacies of the sea “鮑、參、翅、肚”.
How do I select fish maw?
FRIED FISH MAW
- Fried fish maw or 沙爆魚肚 or 油炸魚肚 looks white and puffy. In the 沙爆 or “sand exploded” method, dried swim bladders are continuously stirred in hot sand until it becomes white and expanded.
- 油炸 or “oil fried” is simply deep frying dried maw to achieve the same puffy results.
- Fried fish maw is recommended for plated dishes because it can reconstitute quickly, absorbs sauce easily and gives a delightful spongy texture to dishes. However, a popular soup recipe (often served at banquets) is fried fish maw thick soup or “fish maw gung.”
DRIED FISH MAW
- Dried fish maw or 黃花膠 usually comes from croaker. Croaker maw has higher nutritional value and is better than fried maw for nourishing soups.
- Dried maw requires several hours of reconstitution before it is soft and usable.
- Fish maw from males can withstand long boiling times better while females become soft and and gelatinous much quicker.
How do I prepare fish maw?
- Fish maw must be soaked for hours, usually overnight before it can be prepared.
- Fish maw a suitable alternative for shark’s fin and bird’s nest in soups or stews.