Fujian Cuisine

fish stew
  • March 11,2023

fish stew

There are many fish with different habits in Baiyangdian Lake. Calmness, deep water and sensitivity are characteristics of Bayand carp. Wild Bayandian carp are rarely caught in wild waters, especially now. Even fishermen from Bayandiya, who have lived on water for generations, do not have this technology. Therefore, dominance of Bayandian carp has always been indispensable.

For a long time there has been an ancient saying that there is no feast without fish, and Bayandi people, who love fish and tasty fish, are faithful practitioners without a feast without carp. Baiyangdian people consider carp to be noblest type of fish, and carp stew is always final main dish of whole fish feast with a variety of fish. Bayand carp has green scales and golden wings, red eyes and long beards, generous and plump, graceful and luxurious. Kuimei's robust appearance, combined with Yuyuelongmen's dignity, deservedly became protagonist of banquet.

In that era, production and people's lives were limited in all aspects. It is often said that big fish are hard to catch when catching shrimp, and vigilant carp are even rarer. Occasionally, a group of fishermen are invited to "catch a net battle" in hundreds of acres of water that has been watched by many parties. The sun was about to set as circle of fishing nets grew smaller and smaller. Reflecting reflection of setting sun, golden carp jumped into hut like a dragon gate, and fishermen showed joy of harvest. But sometimes a large group of people cannot even catch a fish after a busy day. The so-called fish in river is not welcome, this is indeed a true image.

With development of time, materials that people rely on for production and life are becoming more and more, which can meet needs at any time. On other hand, more limited resources are, more possessive people become. The rarer wild carp, more perfect are carp fishing skills of people of Bayandiya. Baiyangdian Lake is full of ravines, water protection bridges and culverts can be seen everywhere. The bridge and culvert of this deep ditch is a favorite habitat for carp. Experienced fishermen from time to time drag a large rope almost 100 meters thick with a small hand, cross shore and sink to bottom of water. The master following large rope looked at surface of water, and if he saw that blisters appeared on surface of water, he immediately ordered ropelayer to “stop”, then dived into water and immediately emerged from water with a large carp in his hand. Not every fisherman will be able to master this technique, this is original craft in Baiyangdian region, a unique carp fishing skill.

Characteristics of purity, beauty, grandeur and nobility make Bayandyan carp a worthy main dish at banquets. On contrary, grass carp looks coquettish, bream is thinner, crucian carp is naturally miniature, black catfish and like are ugly - in addition, Bayandian carn is not only main dish of banquet, but also its decoration on table. many details about how to eat and eat. All fish are descaled and gills are removed, and internal organs are removed and stewed directly to keep original appearance unchanged, which symbolizes beautiful meaning of having a head and a tail that matches. The fish head, when serving dishes, should be directed to highest guests at table to show respect for guests - such is banquet etiquette that is observed to this day. Therefore, status of carp stew is result of natural selection of banquet guests over years, and at same time, history has entrusted it with a sacred mission at banquets.

fish stew

Taste it by eating zucchini and taste it anytime. Based on tastes of general public, there have been many incarnations of Baiyangdian carp stew, such as carp stew, sweet and sour carp, steamed carp, etc., but still few people care about these beautiful incarnations. However, time and people's tastes are still developing too fast, coupled with a great abundance of food, various ingredients and flavors mixed with each other, so that carp stew also integrates various tastes, and its audience is becoming larger and larger, but no. no matter how it changes, basic taste of bayandyan has not changed, and cultural heritage with which it is endowed has not changed.

Compared to West Lake vinegar fish, Baiyangdian carp stew is also seasoned mostly with vinegar, but it will never taste sour. Its taste is pure fishy taste, soft, smooth, tender, sweet and salty, no matter eat it hot or cold, it will not smell like fish. Even if it is reheated, it will still be fragrant or even more flavorful, which is difficult to achieve. This may be biggest feature of Baiyangdian carp stew itself.

In Baiyangdian cuisine, there has long been a theory about head of a carp and tail of a catfish. In addition to praising nobility of carp, it also shows uniqueness of carp head in Bayandi cuisine, which can be compared to a bear's paw and a shark's fin. . Long whiskers, thick fish lips, full fish brains, hard fish crystals, and big fish eyes are all adorable, but compared to other fish species, they are far behind. Perhaps for this reason, head of a large carp has same status as a whole fish stew, and also reflects generosity of Baiyangdian people and change of time. After all, large fish is relatively rare, so it is more representative of occasion. Among people there are also stewed fish heads that you can eat. As they say, people never get tired of eating, and ordinary people in new era are becoming more and more picky about their diet.

Each year, when rainy season arrives, Bayandian carp swim in groups in shallow water and breed in stillness of night. People in their dreams from afar hear loud sound of churning of lake water, as if ten thousand horses gallop one after another, all night long. The continuation of life, maintenance of balance and excellent ecology are now very memorable.