Jan 29, 2008

Love It but I Can't Have It Anymore - Shirasu 吻仔魚

This is one of my childhood dish that my mom always made for me.
If you ever read my previous post about Hide Sushi,
You'll know that I'm having a big problem while encountering fish bones,
I do not like fish bones, even the tiny little ones that won't even hurt your throat.
I do not like fish bones. Period.
So my mom came up with an ultimate solution to make me eat fish when I was little.

Stir-Fry Shirasu 炒吻仔魚-


1 package of shirasu
*that's probably around 1 cup of shirasu, or just make it one medium plate-full of shirasu
1 stalk of scallion (chopped)
3 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
Sea salt
Extra virgin olive oil


Drizzle some olive oil in the pan,
Toss in the choppe garlic and chopped scallion,
Cook for a little bit before the garlic burns.
Be careful,
Burned garlic will ruin the whole dish,
In this case, that means hundreds, maybe thousands of little lives.

Quickly toss in those little fish,
Sprinkle some sea salt, don't add to much at first,
You can alway sprinkle more salt later on.
Just keep stir frying it till the fish appeared to be a little bit dry,
Or till the color turned to light brown on the side.
So simple,
My childhood love (even now) is done in....5 minutes?

There's no way I can find any fish bones in this dish,
Shirasu are too tiny,
I get to devour them before the bones are fully grown,

Cindy's Rating: 8 (I love my mom!)

End Note~
I did some research about shirasu later on,
Some said that shirasu is just a general name,
It's not a particular fish, shirasu is actually the babies from all kinds of big fish in the ocean.
That leads to a serious problem,
If we consume too much shirasu,
There won't be any big fish left in the ocean.

I don't know if our current technology allows us to breed shirasu,
Or we can only catch them from the ocean,
But I think from now on I'll eat less of those fish, way less....
Even though I love it so much...>_<.
Just for our mother nature's sake right?

Maybe I can substitute shirasu with shredded tuna meat for this recipe.


  1. Substituting is not the same :( I love shirasu cause it's SO soft!

  2. You can also make shirasu patties, it's execellent.

  3. In the first place this "asian dish" is disgusting to an American PROFESSIONAL CHEF such as myself.

    I simply cannot imagine people eating this sort of thing. They obviously have NO concern for their health.

    As a SENIOR ADVISOR on SeriousEats. I would have to tell you that "shirasu" is JUST NOT ACCEPTABLE here in America.

  4. Do you have citations on the health accusation?

    I'm not even a chef and this is not disgusting to me. I hardly think your senior adviser status or professional chef chevrons warrant you an ability to talk for the nation, much less say what is acceptable for it. If you want to knock something down, give reasons, not simply "because its icky".

  5. To Cake Wardrobe~
    I know, but those fish babies...
    I love shirasu though~!

    To first anonymous~
    Oh yeah?
    Some people make it with porridge!

  6. To chiff0nade~
    Well, I guess every person has their own preference for food.
    I think there are so many other dishes here in America that are totally bad for your body,
    But again, it's our own choice of what to eat and what not to eat right?

    To second anonymous~
    I thank you for your support!
    Never think that this post will draw such a intense response from other people.

  7. I've also heard some 吻仔魚 might be bleached - that's why you get that color! HUH!? :O

    I like 吻仔魚 with boiled spinach. Very nice.

  8. To Tigerfish~
    Yeah, I wonder who ever first came up with that bleaching idea.
    It tastes the same anyways, and these little fish are pretty white already even without bleaching.

  9. i'm a professional chef. have been for 15+ years.
    a good portion of that has been specializing in edomae-zushi. i can say without reservation that 1. chiffonade is full of sh#t; an idiot plain and simple. there are no health "concerns" in eating shirasu. further, i serve it in a variety of preparations to a wide demographic in SF. No complaints. people love it. where exactly do you chef chiffonade? mcdonalds?
    2. there are not concerns regarding the consumption of shirasu and potential effects on population. shirasu, specifically, are the young of a member of the sardine family which are plentiful. don't worry. there are lots and lots of sardines...

  10. Shirasu are those tiny little fish right?

  11. To Zen Chef~
    Yeah, the tiny ones you usually find in Asian supermarkets,
    Sometimes they have a slightly bigger version,
    But smaller ones are more expensive.

  12. never tried shirasu in my life, but hmmm, maybe it is worth checking out a local Asian supermarket? Your blog is fun to read:) Thanks for stopping by mine, too!