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Fish lip soup


Fugu
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Whale shark fins end up in posh restaurants not only in Manila, but also in Hong Kong, Singapore, or Taiwan.

Although the fins are most in demand, there is also a market for shark meat which is made into dried fish and fish balls. Shark skin is used for fish lip soup.

from here.

...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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Not quite a recipe, but here's how I have done it.

"Fish lip soup" doesn't really mean using fish's "lip". As you can imagine there is very little to go on with a fish's lip. It typically means using a big fish's head to make the soup. Typically fresh water fish. Fish head is hard to chop at home. It's best to have the fish monger chop it up for you in the market.

In a pot, use a little bit of cooking oil: throw in some ginger slices (some garlic if you like it), and the fish head pieces. Brown the fish head slightly. Then add water. Bring to a boil. Skim off the foam (if any). Turn to a simmer for a hour or 1.5 hour. At last add some gai choy (mustard green), or bok choy, and a few cubes of tofu. Cook for 15 more minutes. Add salt to taste.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Not quite a recipe, but here's how I have done it.

"Fish lip soup" doesn't really mean using fish's "lip".  As you can imagine there is very little to go on with a fish's lip.  It typically means using a big fish's head to make the soup.  Typically fresh water fish.

Hmmmm.....

I have had a version of "fish lip soup" entirely different than what you posted. The fish parts used was mainly the lips of the grouper or as they say in Asia "garoupa". If you have seen a 25 pound garoupa, you will understand what I mean when I say they have "banana lips".

Grouper or garoupa is a saltwater fish.

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Whale shark fins end up in posh restaurants not only in Manila, but also in Hong Kong, Singapore, or Taiwan.

Although the fins are most in demand, there is also a market for shark meat which is made into dried fish and fish balls. Shark skin is used for fish lip soup.

from here.

Interresting article, I did not know that whale sharks are butchered for this soup! Donsol, Sorsogon(Bicol region, where I was born) is a diving destination, swimming with the "Butanding" whale sharks is their selling point. Based on what I've seen on my 2006 visit, the people there are proud of and protective of their tourist attraction. I can't say the same for Pamilacan Island in Bohol, I've never done any diving there. Philippines has a long way to go when it comes to nature conservancy awareness and practice.

Thanks

Edited by Fugu (log)
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  • 3 weeks later...
Whale shark fins end up in posh restaurants not only in Manila, but also in Hong Kong, Singapore, or Taiwan.

Although the fins are most in demand, there is also a market for shark meat which is made into dried fish and fish balls. Shark skin is used for fish lip soup.

from here.

Interresting article, I did not know that whale sharks are butchered for this soup! Donsol, Sorsogon(Bicol region, where I was born) is a diving destination, swimming with the "Butanding" whale sharks is their selling point. Based on what I've seen on my 2006 visit, the people there are proud of and protective of their tourist attraction. I can't say the same for Pamilacan Island in Bohol, I've never done any diving there. Philippines has a long way to go when it comes to nature conservancy awareness and practice.

Thanks

A fish with even more prodigious lips than the grouper or garupa is a fish that goes by the common name of "Sweet Lips" (genus Plectorhinchus) or sometimes "Harlequin Fish". The lips of this genus are sought after and braised into a fish stew partly because the flesh is deemed less worthy than the lips.

I haven't read the article but I would seriously doubt that whale sharks are being routinely butchered for this soup because a) whale sharks are very rare relative to other reef sharks such as white tips, black tips, nurse sharks and bronze whalers; and b) whale sharks are very large, being the biggest fish currently in existence and thus beyond the capacity of most commercial trawlers. Put it this way, most commerial trawlers aren't able or equipped to land a whale of any size, and a mature whale shark is roughly the size of a small whale. Far easier to deal with small reef sharks which are routinely caught by long line trawlers. Whale sharks don't take baited hooks, being plankton feeders. You would need to harpoon these fellas, that is if they came up for air, which they don"t. So I would put it down to an urban myth (or nautical) myth. Sharks are taken for their fins and in Australia, they appear on the menu in fish and chip shops under the innocuous sounding label - "flake". BTW shark skin may have commercial value as sandpaper (in fact sandpaper was originally made from sharkskin) but I would defy anyone to make an edible soup out of shark skin. It would be about as sensible as trying to make an oxtail soup with leather.

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  but I would defy anyone to make an edible soup out of shark skin.  It would be about as sensible as trying to make an oxtail soup with leather.

By blanching a piece of shark with the skin on and then running it on cold water, you can rub the grit(scales) off the skin. The skin has a gelatinous texture once it is cooked.

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A simple google search seems to confirm that shark whale hunting was a commercially viable activity. Liuzhou was quoting from a news article, how does that qualify as hearsay or from mis-translation, or mis-identification?

Pictures of the hunt (leaves no doubt as to identification)

article

article

Fish lip soup sounds like an intriguing dish. I hope to try it someday (as long as it doesn't come from whale sharks), along with the rest of the fish!

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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Mea culpa. I really didn't know that! Killing the rare gentle giants is so counter intuitive and abhorrent, to me.

Up to this point, 65 years, I relied on my own brain power and life experiences to formulate solutions and opinions. Now I guess it's time that I do like you younger folks and use Google for instant "knowledge".

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I was pretty surprised to find out that whale shark fishing could occur as a cottage industry as well. It seemed to be a pretty important activity in some villages, and its nice to see that whale sharks can still contribute to their livelihoods ( like tourism).

Martin Mallet

<i>Poor but not starving student</i>

www.malletoyster.com

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A simple google search seems to confirm that shark whale hunting was a commercially viable activity. Liuzhou was quoting from a news article, how does that qualify as hearsay or from mis-translation, or mis-identification?

I think you will find that the pictures and articles are pretty dated as whale shark hunting has been banned in many countries including the Philippines for many years.

I suppose you are right in saying that it WAS a commercially viable activity in that the fins, flesh etc were sold for profit. However this type of activity is generally referred to as artisanal fishing as opposed to what is commonly regarded as commercial fishing - large trawlers, professional crew, purse or seine nets or long lines etc., which is what I was referring to.

Another interesting example of artisanal fishing is found in neighbouring Indonesia where the fishermen of Lamalera on Lembata island take passing whales using homemade spears, knives and bare hands. For an interesting account/pictures click on the link below.

www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/worldnews.html?in_article_id=465987&in_page_id=1811

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