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Milkfish intestines: would you try this Taiwanese delicacy?

2 min read

Taiwanese food is very popular all over the world, but some of the dishes it proposes are really hard to swallow (and unacceptable), even for locals.
One example is milkfish intestines, a delicacy that’s difficult also to look at.

Milkfish is farmed on a large scale in Taiwan, not only for its meat but also its intestines, which are apparently the base of several dishes, including black fried intestines and milkfish intestine soup.
It seems that both are delicious, but you first have to get over their appearance, including the fact that they look like cooked worms, and even then, the idea of eating fish guts, a fact that doesn’t appeal to everyone.
In Southern Taiwan, which hosts the most milkfish farms, milkfish intestine dishes are most popular, and they even have become somewhat of a local challenge for visitors.
Milkfish intestines are very perishable, and it can be obtained fresh, even quickly after harvesting.
It’s a known fact that milkfish guts will start to decompose even when refrigerated or frozen, due to the enzymes they contain, so cooks will usually cook them as soon as they are cut out of the fish.
Most of the time, fish guts are thrown into the garbage when the fish is processed, and for good reason, as not all milkfish intestines are edible.
Interestingly, in order for the intestines to be usable, the fish have to be starved for several days, in order for most of the food waste to be excreted, which raises of course some ethical questions.
They still have to be washed thoroughly before cooking, in order to remove all the waste.
They can either be boiled as part of a soup, or fried to a crisp in oil. If you are brave enough to try them…

Images from web – Google Research