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EXTREME CUISINE

It's not all bad – it just looks that way.



A lot of seafood is disgusting. I’m not even going to try to pretend that I like it.

Fermented fish sauce

For many Asians, fish sauce made from fermented fish – yes that means ‘rotten’ to you and me – is the quintessential ingredient for many of their dishes. I don’t know if you ever seen a bucket of rotten fish, but if you have you’ll have an idea of the stench of this stuff – it’s revolting. While taking the photo, I had to pull me tee-shirt up and over my nose and hold my breath. Essentially all you need to do is take a barrel of fish and salt it, then let it sit in the sun until it stinks like cat’s shit. When your gag reflex stats to kick in whenever you approach, it’s done. Then take a board and press it down on the rotten fish to collect the liquid that dribbles out.

One way to skin a fish

This Ethiopian boy on the banks of Lake Awasa had a novel approach to skinning fish. While the others were content to use knives this guy would just rip the skin from the fillets with his teeth. Sure, it meant that he got scales and fish slime on his face but once he got going he could rip the skin off five or six fish while the others were still working on their first. The knack is, he told me, not to end up with fish scales in your eyes. Good advice that.

Stinky dried fish - vietnam
There is nothing wrong with crabs, but look at the size of these guys - Pleeease. and they are pickled too!
Stinky dried fish in Laos