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How to choose Fish Maws? Which is the right one for me?

Jul 09,2024 | Chai Huat Hin Online

How to Choose the Right Dried Fish Maw: A Guide

Fish maw, a prized delicacy in many Asian cuisines, is highly valued for its texture and nutritional benefits. However, with numerous options available in the market, selecting the right dried fish maw can be daunting. Here are some tips we've compiled!

Introduction

Fish maw, a prized delicacy in many Asian cuisines, is highly valued for its texture and nutritional benefits. However, with numerous options available in the market, selecting the right dried fish maw can be daunting. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you make an informed choice.

1. Understand the Types of Fish Maw

Fish maw comes from various types of fish, with the most common being sturgeon, croaker, and other pacific smaller fishes. Each type has unique characteristics:

  • Nile Perch / Jew Fish / South Africa / Norway : Known for its thick, gelatinous texture, it's highly sought after.
  • Pacific Maws : More affordable, it offers a delicate texture.
  • Other smaller maws (commonly fried / baked) : Rich in collagen, it's great for soups and stews, smaller in size.

2. Check for Quality Indicators

When choosing dried fish maw, consider the following quality indicators:

  • Color: High-quality fish maw should be golden yellow or light beige. Avoid those that are overly dark or have uneven coloring.
  • Texture: It should be firm and dry. Moist or sticky maw indicates poor drying processes or possible contamination.
  • Size and Shape: Consistent size and shape often indicate better quality. Larger pieces tend to be more desirable.
  • Baked / Fried : These are maws from smaller fishes also known as 鱼漂 (yu piao), considered lower grade compared to most dried fish maws but they are a great addition to stews & soups. 

3. Consider your Budget & Recipe

  • The recipe you are making will greatly affect your choice of fish maws.
  • If you plan to stew or boil for a long period of time, it would be best to choose dried fish maws as they are much thicker in comparison. However, they are usually more expensive. 
  • Baked / Fried fish maws are suitable for daily meals with less complicated cooking steps. 
  • Baked fish maw is a healthier option compared to fried ones. If you prefer your dish to be less oily, this would be a great choice. Suitable for stir fry, soup. 
  • Fried fish maw is definitely more flavourful in comparison, however they cannot be kept for long as they will stale over time. Suitable for stews, add them last and cook with low heat to prevent them from dissolving entirely. (Collagens will dissolve in high heat over time that leads to a sticky, thick broth). 

 

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