Asian carp: Americans' poison, Chinese people's delicacy

By Dong Fangyu ( China Daily ) Updated: 2014-10-11 06:51:59

Asian carp: Americans' poison, Chinese people's delicacy

Stewed carp with bean curd [Photo provided to China Daily]

Asian carp: Americans' poison, Chinese people's delicacy

Recipes for popular carp dishes in China

But in the US, most people prefer to eat chicken, port or beef, Garvey said, despite the nutritional benefits of fish. Also, Americans generally don't cook the entire fish and instead fillet fish such as salmon or tuna. Filleting an Asian carp is challenging because the fish have a complex structure of thick bones.

In 2011, the Illinois state government began promoting Asian carp as a healthy and cheap source of protein. The fish are also low in fat and have lower mercury levels than tuna.

A video called Flying Fish, Great Dish, which has become popular on YouTube, teaches people how to clean Asian carp and debone the filets.

"Bighead carp soup (especially the head part) is considered a delicacy in Asian countries. Cook them with tofu and green onion. Really delicious. Another wonderful easy way to cook bighead carp is to season the fillet with soybean sauce. Keep them in the refrigerator overnight, and then deep fry," one commenter said.

"The problem with Asian carp is the name 'carp'. People automatically assume it's the bottom-feeder kind of carp that tastes terrible. Asian carp is not like that, and is actually pretty palatable. If people realized this, the Asian carp problem would have been solved quite easily," another commenter said on YouTube.

Nathan Brown, executive chef of The Ritz-Carlton Beijing Financial Street said, "I've been working and traveling around Asia for many years. Actually, I don't mind carp in Chinese dishes. Thinly sliced with noodles or made into little carp dumplings (or meatballs) in Hong Kong style with broth is very tasty at breakfast."

Brown, of Canada, said: "Most of the reason we don't eat a lot of carp in North America is due to the vast options we have for fish and seafood in the Great Lakes and east and west coast."

"However, there are several cooking methods to make the Asian carp enjoyable," he says

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