More fishy tales

As relatives gather to celebrate Chinese New Year, topics of ... new-born babies, health of new mothers, death of elderly folks, career changes, new boyfriends and girlfriends brought into the family ... are usually raised.

A few distant relatives of mine had just given birth to big, bouncy babies. 

As usual, the elders will dish out advice of special diet that promotes wound-healing during the month following childbirth.

The snakehead fish (“sang yue” in Cantonese, haruan in Malay language) is believed to have wound-healing properties. 

The elders specifically “prescribed” sang yue for women who had just given birth or anyone who has had to endure open wound surgery.  

A quick search on some scientific papers on the Internet revealed sang yue contains high levels of essential amino acids and a good profile of fatty acids that improves tissue growth and speed up wound-healing. Wow!

As the conversation among the elders get more intense, they 'drill into me' that sang yue can be stir-fried, cooked with porridge or double-boiled into nutritional soup. 

Since I'm the only journalist in the extended family, I was tasked to 'put it down in record'. I was lazy to take notes or even use my smartphone to video-record. So, I willed myself to remember as much as I can. Ha! Ha!

In making this nutritional soup, the elders said sang yue is sliced into fillet and double-boiled with herbs. A dash of palm cooking oil helps bring out the flavour and fragrance of the ingredients. 

The time-consuming double-boiling process is necessary to distill the fish's medicinal properties. Mmm ... the sang yue soup is delicious to the very last spoonful!

The elders noted sang yue tastes just as good when stir-fried. The best cooking oil that is heat stable to stir-fry is the affordable and yet nutritious palm oil. 

the sang yue are stir-fried in quick, high heat (in Cantonese, it is known as wok hei), these fillet become tender and succulent. The ginger and spring onion garnishing enhances the freshness of the fillet.

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