June 20, 2013

Unforgettable Foochow Soup : Cucumber and Salted Eel

Salted muang ngii or salted eel is a delicacy to some people. However to others it is poor man's soup.

Muang Ngii or sea eel is huge and weighs anything between 4 kg to 20 kg. Found in the Asian seas it is popularly fished by fishermen who enjoy eating it in many different ways.

The Japanese call it unagi and eat it as a delicacy in sushi shops or special eel shops. Japanese customersare very discerning about the quality of the fish and its freshness.

The salted eel bones are sold as a specialty ingredient to Foochows who brew them for soups on hot days when appetites are not too good. Usually considered a "cooling soup",salted eel bones brewed for about two hours with old cucumbers can also be nourishing for elders who are losing appetite.

sometimes salted eel bones are cooked with winter melons and dred squids.

this photo shows salted eel sold in Miri.

This photo shows the skin side of the eel.

this whole eel measures about feet or two metres. A fish this length is usually cut into three portions. Salted fish are usually dried in the sun again and again if the fishmongers cannot sell them fast enough.

Sometimes salted eels are not available in the market because the fishermen in China orTaiwan face poor weather.

There is also rumour that fresh eels are now being used for other purposes. Once eels are canned, salted eels      
willno longer be available in the salt fish market any more.


Anonymous said...

It's donkey years, I have not eaten this soup! 'coz those days, those salted fish, wanna got ridsect or not!

Ann, Chen Jie Xue 陈洁雪 said...

where is the eel from. At the lake by my younger bro's house, there are eels.

Stenographer said...

I understand. Today the salt fish mongers I am familiar with, "sun" their salted fish from time to time. Some even wrap up their stock in plastic bags.

However for better health, it is not advisable to eat too much salted fish.

Stenographer said...

Most of the locals import their salted eels from West Malaysia , Singapore and Indonesia. Many also deal withThai fish exporters.

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