Here in Asia, a lot of what we're told to eat is passed down from generation to generation but oftentimes we're not given the full explanation of why a certain food item is good for us. This is especially so in the world of seafood as a lot of literature has been written on Western fishes but not so much on fishes found in Asian waters. One such fish we're often told by our grandparents to eat is the Chinese Pomfret, over here, we will explain why this fish is good for you and why it is prized at such a premium by Teochew families.
Why is the Chinese Pomfret more expensive than other types of pomfrets?
It is deemed to be the best tasting pomfret, with its soft texture and naturally sweet taste. This is a must have on all Teochew dining tables, especially during their "jiak dok" events. This fish is practically synonymous with Teochew fare and that is probably why the only accepted way to eat this fish is with the Teochew steam or a Teochew steamboat.
How do I identify a Chinese Pomfret?
All pomfrets are flat with similar shapes. It is most difficult to distinguish between the Chinese Pomfret and the White Pomfret but the easiest way to tell them apart is via the broadness and shape at the head and width from fin to fin (see graphics below for a shape comparison). There are usually slightly darker pink/ greyish colouration on the Chinese Pomfret as well.
What are the benefits of eating Chinese Pomfret?
Chinese Pomfrets are high in Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, which helps to reduce cholesterol and the risk of heart diseases. Chinese Pomfrets also contain the minerals iron and magnesium. Iron is needed for healthy red blood cell formation and because of this, new mothers and people who have just undergone surgery are encouraged to consume this fish. Magnesium helps to maintain healthy enzyme activity. Chinese pomfret is also high in Vitamin B3, B12 and Vitamin D. It is also relatively low in mercury.
What's so special about the Chinese Pomfret sold at Dishthefish?
Our founder (like many in the fish industry here in Singapore) grew up in a very traditional Teochew family and takes great pride in securing and selling this fish. We get our Chinese Pomfret wild caught from the Surabaya (泗水) region, which is known to have the best quality and sweetest Chinese Pomfret. We work with our suppliers to ensure a consistent supply of this fish even during Chinese New Year when there is very high demand for this fish. Have this fish cleaned and delivered to your house by ordering here. You may also come down to our shop at West Coast Plaza to try this fish freshly steamed in Teochew style to taste the difference!