This Chinese raw food originated 3000 years ago, but is often misidentified as Japanese cuisine!149steemCreated with Sketch.

in #journey2 months ago

When it comes to eating raw fish, the first thing you may think of is the Japanese cuisine of sea fish sashimi, in fact, it is not so, the history of Chinese people eating raw fish can be traced back to at least the Western Zhou Dynasty, after 3,000 years of heritage, several times prosperous, the formation of the rich food culture of raw fish.
The history of eating raw fish
In Chinese history books, the word "chopped" or "chopped" mostly refers to raw fish. In the Han Dynasty, Xu Shen's "Shuowen Jiezi" explains that chopped refers to finely cut meat, and does not only refer to fish chopped but also includes sheep chopped, cow chopped, deer chopped, etc. But later on, chopped refers to fish chopped, and even the word "chopped" is used. Confucius said, "Food is not tired of fine, chopping is not tired of fine", which means that the finer the fish is cut, the better. In the modern Dictionary, the word "chopped" is defined as "finely shredded meat, especially fish fillets eaten raw".
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The ancient Chinese were very fond of eating raw fish, and there are probably enough stories and poems about eating raw fish in history books to make a book. The earliest record of eating raw fish dates back to the fifth year of King Xuan of the Zhou Dynasty (823 B.C.), when an inscription on the "most expensive pan in history," the Ruoxia Pan, sold at auction for 210 million yuan, states that the Zhou division met the tribe at Pang Nga (within modern-day Baishui County, Shaanxi Province) and triumphed. The inscription on the plate says that the Zhou army returned triumphantly from the battle against the tribe of Longnan in Peng Nga (in present-day Baishui County, Shaanxi). General Yin Jifu gave a private banquet to Zhang Zhong and other friends, and the main dish was roasted snapper with slices of raw carp. Poem. Xiao Ya. June" also records this event: "Drinking with friends, enjoying the turtle and carp", "enjoying the turtle" refers to the steamed snapper, while "popular carp" is raw carp slices.
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In the Eastern Han Dynasty, raw fish was already a popular food, and in the Eastern Han Dynasty, Ying Shao wrote a book called "Custom and Customs", which included customs and curiosities from all over the world, one of which was: "Zhua does not eat raw fish". In this book, the author wrote that the inhabitants of Zhu'a, a town in Qihe County, Shandong Province, did not eat raw fish, which was a strange and unusual custom.
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During the Han and Wei dynasties, the style of eating chopped fish became popular, and the fame of chopped perch was so great that there were records of eating raw fish in "Three Kingdoms", including Cao Cao who personally named the "chopped perch" of Songjiang. At the end of the Eastern Han Dynasty, Chen Deng, the governor of Guangling, was so fond of eating raw fish that he got a parasitic disease. Luckily, Hua Tuo was still around at that time, and after taking his pulse, he said, "There are several litres of worms in your stomach, and they want to become internal gangrene, which is caused by eating fishy things." Hua Tuo cured him, but this Chen Deng did not resist continuing to eat, and later when he was sick again, Hua Tuo was no longer there, and finally, he ate himself to death, which is probably the first person in history who died from eating fish.
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In the Sui Dynasty, there was a new method of making fish chopping with fragrant soft flower leaves or golden orange shreds, and the fish chopping made with these two seasonings was called "golden chopping".
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In the Tang and Song dynasties, the style of eating chopped fish reached its peak, and there were not only monographs of chopping knives and cooking methods such as "chopping book", but also poets such as Li Bai, Du Fu, Su Shi, etc., such as Li Bai's "Huye whisked a few frosty blades and swung them, the red muscles and flowers fell and the white snow fell", Du Fu's "noiseless and fine flying snow, there are bones already chopped spring onions", and Su Shi's "Wu'er chopped strands are thin and want to fly, and before they go, they say they are greedy and salivating".
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In the early years of the Northern Song Dynasty, the brother-in-law of the King of Wu Yue, Sun Chengyu, followed the Song Emperor on his expedition to Fangyang and gathered all the generals under Fangyang to eat fish, and carp were used. During the reign of Emperor Taizong of the Song Dynasty, Zhang Gohua, a transit envoy, inspected the Yellow River and "sat down with dozens of guests, and served carp."
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In the Song Dynasty, carp was also used as a raw fish, but Mei Yaochen, a literary scholar of the Northern Song Dynasty, thought that carp was not as tight as crucian carp and not as sweet as crucian carp, and that crucian carp was the "natural raw material". The biggest carp in the Yellow River is less than three pounds, and the one sold in the market is usually only about one pound, the smaller it is, the more demanding the knife work is. Fortunately, there was a chef in Mei Yaochen's family, so he was able to taste the fish sashimi made with crucian carp, and later Mei Yaochen wrote a poem: "In the past, I tasted the round crucian carp and left it for the old man to eat. He wanted to eat without the chef, and to send without the bird's wing." I guess the chef of his house jumped from the job, and he himself did not have the knife skill, so he could only sigh at the carp, and wrote a poem to complain.
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After the Ming and Qing dynasties, maybe it was warned by Li Shizhen's "Compendium of Materia Medica" that "the fish and meat are popular and harmful to people", the culture of eating fish in the Central Plains declined, and only in a few areas such as Lingnan still prevailed. Li Tiuyuan said in his "Sixteen Songs from the South China Sea", "Every time after the tide of the Jiujiang River, the people in the south eat fish and raw meat at all times." At the end of the Qing Dynasty, the picture of "Eating Fish Raw" also says: "Fish Raw is a thing, not less than the taste of Ulva and Perch. My Guangdong people are mostly addicted to it."
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In the early years of the Republic, the culture of eating raw fish in Lingnan was still preserved. Wang Zhaoxuan, the brother of Wang Jingwei, wrote a poem called "Bamboo Lyrics in Yangcheng" for this purpose: "Fish is eaten everywhere on the winter solstice, and the fresh fish is cut into jade pieces. A cup of hot wine to dispel the cold is still the former dynasty food chopping wind." However, due to the influence of the change of customs and health problems in the middle and late Republic of China, the culture of eating raw fish declined, and it was only after the reform and opening up that it gradually recovered.
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Areas where fish sashimi was eaten
The ancient record of eating raw fish is mainly in the north, but now the vast majority of areas in China do not eat freshwater raw fish, the reason for this, probably one is that most rivers are polluted, freshwater fish are susceptible to parasites. The second is that sea fish is easier to get, and the spines are more concentrated, easy to slice, freshwater fish spines and small and messy, fish flesh is also easy to scatter, quite a test of knife skills, no two brushes simply can not cut the fish slices.
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This is of course completely wrong, although the Chinese culture of eating raw fish is not as good as the Tang and Song dynasties, it does not mean that there is no, China's more famous areas to eat raw fish include the Guangdong Pearl River Delta region, Guangdong Chaoshan region, Hakka region, and Guangxi Nanning and other areas, the most representative cities are Guangdong Shunde, Chaozhou, Wuhua and Guangxi Hengxian, in these areas, raw fish is still a traditional, exquisite and excellent cuisine.
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In Shunde in the Pearl River Delta, the fish used to make sashimi are usually the four major fish: carp, silver carp, grass and pangolin, as well as flower fish, tilapia, big head fish, crucian carp, etc. All fish with scales can be used to make sashimi, but fish without scales are not suitable. And the fish for making sashimi can be divided into upper, middle and lower grades.
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The lower grade is mainly silver carp and tilapia because these fish are cheaper, have thin meat, many thorns and poor taste. The middle grades are carp and grass carp, which are characterized by thicker meat, sweet taste and thorns mainly with big bones, and better taste. The top grade is flower fish, crucian carp, tilapia, which is characterized by strong meat, excellent taste, sweet taste, and good colour of raw fish, which makes people's appetite increase and mouth water. When Cantonese people eat sashimi, they stand up, wave their chopsticks, and fish the sashimi, saying the auspicious words "fish up, fish up", which means "fish up" and "fish hi", so it is said that "fish up, wind up".
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The custom of eating raw fish in Guangdong Chaoshan has been continued until now. According to Zhou Shuoxun's "Chiu Chow", "Oysters, shrimps, and fish are always the most delicious food in Chiu Chow. Chaoshan people generally use grass carp to make fish sashimi, and they like to eat fish sashimi and dog meat in autumn and winter and drink high white wine, which is one of the most beautiful things in life, so there is a local saying in Chaoshan area, "fish sashimi and dog meat, the world is invincible".
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Grass carp
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In the Hakka region, including Guangdong's Wuhua, Xingning, Longchuan, Fujian Ninghua, Jiangxi Xinfeng and other places have the habit of eating raw fish, the most famous of which is the Wuhua County, Meizhou, for example, the production of raw fish is also mostly used grass carp, in fact, since the Tang Dynasty, grass carp in the Hakka region has a very important position. As one of the "ten Hakka dishes", "Wuhua fish sashimi" has always been a source of pride for local Hakka people, and there is even a local saying that "there is no life without eating fish sashimi".
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Grass carp
In Heng xian County, Guangxi, at least 500 years ago, fish sashimi has been the "feast of the press" in Hengxian County, and nowadays, fish sashimi is still the first delicacy in Hengxian County, which is called "county cuisine" and one of the top ten classic dishes in Guangxi. The carnivorous fish from Yu Jiang River, the flower fish (snakehead), is the best fish, and the omnivorous green bamboo fish is the best fish.
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Preparation of sashimi
First of all, the selection of fish should depend on the origin, the fish from the sewage ponds are definitely not good, and the fish from the nets should not be used as much as possible, the best is the fish from spring water, clear water rivers and reservoirs. Select fish to pick raw, gill clean fish, in addition, must be live fish, dead fish must not be used to make fish raw. Fish bought back, it is best to also put in the mountain spring water starvation "Slim" for a few days to consume body fat, to make the fish raw meat solid sweet.
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The first process is "bloodletting", the most important thing is the "appearance" of the fish, the fish must be transparent and crystal clear to be considered beautiful, so bloodletting is also the most "technical "process. Poor control, the fish with red or too much water, will greatly affect the taste and appearance. General bleeding, is intact live fish jaw and tail each cut, and then put the fish back into the water, to fish in the swim and struggle to bleed out, you can get no blood white as frost fish. And Shunde chef in this area is very good, he will first grab the head of the fish, cut a knife in the tail, so that the fish can not die for a while but because of the pain of the wound and desperately swing the tail, the fish blood is therefore accelerated loss, and finally, the fish blood released clean, beautiful fish, eat raw fish will not have a fishy smell.
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After bleeding is "deboning", first to the spine and ribs, and then to the dorsal fin bone and dorsal cartilage, and finally to the interosseous bone is to cut the fish, and grass carp there are much interosseous bone, that is, those soft and thin small thorns. It is almost impossible to take out the intermuscular bones one by one, but fortunately, they are concentrated in the dark red muscles on both sides of the spine, so the red muscles can be removed directly, and this piece is not used to make sashimi.
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The Chaoshan people also do a little more "drying" process, that is, the grass carp "scaling and gutting" after the fish to be placed in a ventilated area to dry water, it is said that this is to make the fish elastic.
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After deboning is "slicing", why the average person can not do fish sashimi, it is because they do not have the knife work ah, fish sashimi is good to eat, all depends on the master's knife work. The meat of the back of the fish out after slicing, emphasizing a "thin", "thin is the fishbone hidden, thick is the fishbone now. A good chef can slice the fish to a thickness of only about 0.5 mm, as thin as a cicada wing, crystal clear, beautiful to the extreme.
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Finally, it's time for "plating", which is done in different places. In the Pearl River Delta region of Guangdong, a traditional lacquered plate or boat-shaped vessel is used to hold the sashimi, with ice cubes rolled flat in the plate, then a layer of plastic wrap is placed on top and the slices are covered evenly and neatly.
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In Chaoshan and Hakka regions, the fish is usually served on bamboo gabions to air-dry, and after arranging a piece of gabion, a few pieces of fish skin and cut fins are placed on top.
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In Guangxi Hengxian, white porcelain plates are often used as serving vessels, usually in the shape of circles, rhombuses, boats or fans, in order to bring out the crystal-clear, grainy and layered texture of the fish sashimi.
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How to eat sashimi
Once served, it's the diners' turn to enjoy it. In fact, the way of eating sashimi is similar everywhere, as the fish is sliced and mixed with supplementary ingredients, and the difference of supplementary ingredients is the biggest difference of sashimi in different places. The Rites of Passage has been specifically recorded in the ancient people to eat "chopped" dipping seasonings, that is, "where chopped, spring with onions, autumn with mustard". It is similar to the way we eat sashimi today. Later, there are several relatively fixed seasonings for eating raw fish, such as the famous "eight and fragment". According to "The Essential Art of Qi Min", eight kinds of seasonings, including garlic, ginger, orange peel, white plum, cooked chestnut, japonica rice, salt and sauce, were used to make the chopped fish.
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The ingredients of Shunde fish sashimi generally include garlic, ginger, onion, onion, pepper, soy sauce, peanut, sesame, pepper, taro, fried vermicelli, etc. Before eating fish sashimi, pick the ingredients according to personal preference, add oil, salt, sugar, and iced fish sashimi together in a bowl, then quickly eat the fish sashimi seasoning into the mouth, the fish sashimi cold and smooth taste instantly very pleasant, and then chew carefully, all kinds of fragrant, pungent, sour, sweet spices will bring out the freshness of the fish sashimi, making the mouth full of fragrance, endless aftertaste, the most called people can not stop.
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Ingredients of Shunde sashimi
In addition to raw fish, Shunde people also use the fish head, fishtail and fish bones to make congee, which is fresh and sweet; fried fish bones, which is crispy; baked eggs with fish intestines, which is smooth; and fish skin, which is crisp and refreshing. ...... A fish can be eaten in many ways, with endless variations.
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The ingredients of Chiu Chow fish sashimi include shredded radish, shredded ginger, sliced garlic, chilli rings, golden bun, fried peanuts, dried radish, shredded green onion, celery segment, coriander, green olives, sour popcorn slices, old oil, chilli rice vinegar, soy sauce mustard, three seepage sauce and so on. In the oil dish, there are minced southern ginger, chopped garlic and chopped peanuts, etc. The aroma smells rich and complex. Put your favourite toppings in a small bowl first, then clip a chopstick of raw fish, then scoop a spoonful of cooking oil with ingredients to drizzle on top, and finally stir it to eat into your mouth in one bite.
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Ingredients of Chiu Chow fish sashimi
The ingredients of Wuhua fish sashimi mainly include high white vinegar, garlic, peanut oil, peanut rice, chilli rings, mint leaves, shredded ginger, pepper, sesame, sliced marinated garlic, etc. The way to eat Wuhua fish sashimi is to first clip the fish slices into a large bowl, soak them in high white vinegar for a few seconds, then put them into a small bowl, put on peanut oil and the ingredients and spoon them into the mouth. It is said that white vinegar soaking can help to eliminate bacteria and kill toxins.
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Ingredients of Wuhua fish sashimi
The ingredients of Guangxi Hengxian fish sashimi are also very elaborate and varied, generally including fishy grass, lemon, perilla leaves, mint leaves, seaweed, shredded ginger, shredded carrot, sour orange, garlic, sour ginger and so on. In addition to peanut oil, soy sauce, pepper, etc. to mix. Peanut oil lubricates, soy sauce seasoning and pepper is to temper the coldness in the fish sashimi to achieve the purpose of warming the stomach.
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Heng xian fish sashimi ingredients
Can you get sick from eating sashimi?
The last is the most concerning issue, eating raw fish will not be infected with parasitic diseases, just like the most beautiful scenery are in the most difficult to reach places, the most delicious food are also some risks, such as eating wild mushrooms may let you see the genie flying, eating blowfish even to risk death, tasting fresh raw fish is also a certain risk.
But in general, the risk is not too big, because a store can do fish raw, basically are formal operation more than a dozen or even decades, fish raw production so delicate, from the selection of fish to knife work, not the average person said to do, since they can operate for decades, that there will not be too big a problem, not to mention that fish raw in the above-mentioned areas are traditional cuisine, the existence is not a year or two. In Shunde, it is the development of the "Shunde fish raw" standard, from all aspects of strict control, the risk of eating fish raw to a minimum.
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Having said that, finally remember that sashimi is an authentic traditional Chinese dish, not exclusive to Japanese cuisine, which the Chinese have been eating for 3,000 years. Don't you dare not try this ancient, exquisite and excellent dish when you have the chance? Haha, fish sashimi fetch up, wind and water!

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