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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Dragon Fish

   Today I was eating this strange fish. I had eaten it for years, yet I have never figured out what it really is called. The only name I knew to call it by was the "dragon fish." Of course, it just happened that hundreds of species of fish are called dragon fish, though there are a few that are traditionally cooked in China.
   The Chinese call dragon fish xia chan (虾潺) beacuse of the relation of its massive mouth to its body while the Cantonese call it Bean Curd Fish due to the incredible softness of the meat and bones. There is no need to debone the fish before cooking. Some restaurants cook the fish into fried puffy fish sticks, though other places put it into soups.
   Apparently, the English equivalent to the name is Harpadon nehereus, or Bombay Duck. It is a type of lizardfish found in tropical and subtropical waters. They are caught in great numbers in the the China Sea. No one knows why the fish is called the Bombay Duck, because it definately isn't a duck. Some writers say that, during the British Raj, the fish were transported on trains after drying. They say that the compartments of the Bombay Dak would reek of the fish smell. Consequentally, the British would refer to the peculiar smell of Bombay Dak, eventually evolving into the name Bombay duck. According to Bangledeshi tales, the first person to use the name "Bombay Duck" was Richard Clive, after tasting a piece of the fish during his conquest of Bengal.

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