Fish 12: Taixiang (台鯗)

There are many differences between good and bad Taixiang.1 That which comes from Songmen of Taizhou is the best, with its soft but savoury and rich tasting flesh. When the raw item is pulled to shreds by hand, it can be served directly as a side dish without cooking.

When braising with fresh pork, first wait until the pork has softened before adding the Taixiang, otherwise the Taixiang would have long melted away and no longer visible.2 When this dish is chilled, it becomes “xiang” aspic. This is a Shaoxing recipe.

台鯗
台鯗好醜不一。出台州松門者為佳,肉軟而鮮肥。生時拆之,便可當作小菜,不必煮食也;用鮮肉同煨,須肉爛時放鯗;否則鯗消化不見矣,凍之即為鯗凍。紹興人法也。

Notes:
1Taixiang is a type of salted dried fish, typically made of Large or Small Yellow Croaker, and much loved for its salty umami taste and pungent flavour.
2This feels almost like an a postscript of the Section on Pork Braised with Taixiang.