Chinese Fisherman Catches £300,000 Fish

The fisherman, whose identity has not been revealed, caught a Chinese Bahaba, or Giant Yellow Croaker, off the coast of Fujian province last week.

After a bidding war, a local fishmonger paid him three million yuan (£300,000) for the 176 lb fish, or £1,700 a pound, according to the Strait News, a local newspaper in Fujian.

The fisherman told the newspaper he had found the fish floating on the surface of the sea and had “picked it up”. The size of the fish caught the attention of his fellow villagers, and the specimen was quickly identified. After the auction, the fisherman said he would use the windfall to buy a bigger boat.

The Chinese Bahaba (Bahaba taipingensis) can reach 6ft 7in in length and weigh more than 220 lb. It is particularly prized for its swim bladder, which is used by practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine to cure heart and lung ailments.

However, it has been fished almost to extinction, and its fisheries, from the Yangtze river estuary to the Pearl River in the south, have also been affected by pollution.

In 2010, a 50 year-old bahaba was caught in south China and sold for 3.45 million yuan. In 2008, a group of Hong Kong fishermen were delighted to sell a bahaba they had caught for HKD 20,000 (£1,637), until they discovered its true market value.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, the Bahaba’s swim bladder “is highly appreciated for its medicinal properties and as a general tonic for health”.

However the conservation group says no spawning populations of the fish are known, and “given the heavy fishing pressure in the region, there are likely to be few or no refuges remaining for recovery”.

Note: £1 is about 1.58 US$

Source: The Telegraph

What’s for Lunch?

Beef Roll Bento

The Menu

  • Beef Roll with Okra and Carrot
  • Pumpkin Salad
  • Broccoli in Sesame Sauce
  • Rice with Tuna and Vegetables

Fruit Juice Halves Fat in Chocolate

It may not make chocolate one of your five a day – but scientists have found a way to replace up to 50 per cent of its fat content with fruit juice.

University of Warwick chemists have taken out much of the cocoa butter and milk fats that go into chocolate bars, substituting them with tiny droplets of juice measuring under 30 microns in diameter.

They infused orange and cranberry juice into milk, dark and white chocolate using what is known as a Pickering emulsion.

Crucially, the clever chemistry does not take away the chocolatey ‘mouth-feel’ given by the fatty ingredients.

This is because the new technique maintains the prized Polymorph V content, the substance in the crystal structure of the fat which gives chocolate its glossy appearance, firm and snappy texture but which also allows it to melt smoothly in the mouth.

The final product will taste fruity – but there is the option to use water and a small amount of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) instead of juice to maintain a chocolatey taste.

Dr Stefan Bon from the Department of Chemistry at the University of Warwick was lead author on the study published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry.

He said the research looked at the chemistry behind reducing fat in chocolate, but now it was up to the food industry to use this new technique to develop tasty ways to use it in chocolate.

Dr Bon said: “Everyone loves chocolate – but unfortunately we all know that many chocolate bars are high in fat.

“However it’s the fat that gives chocolate all the indulgent sensations that people crave – the silky smooth texture and the way it melts in the mouth but still has a ‘snap’ to it when you break it with your hand.

“We’ve found a way to maintain all of those things that make chocolate ‘chocolatey’ but with fruit juice instead of fat.

“Our study is just the starting point to healthier chocolate – we’ve established the chemistry behind this new technique but now we’re hoping the food industry will take our method to make tasty, lower-fat chocolate bars.”

The scientists used food-approved ingredients to create a Pickering emulsion, which prevents the small droplets from merging with each other.

Moreover, their chocolate formulations in the molten state showed a yield stress which meant that they could prevent the droplets from sinking to the bottom.

The new process also prevents the unsightly ‘sugar bloom’ which can appear on chocolate which has been stored for too long.

Source: University of Warwick

Braised Chicken with Tomato

Ingredients

4 chicken legs
1 can tomato
2 tsp minced garlic
2 stalks celery, sliced
4 oz carrot, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp mixed herb
1½ cup chicken broth
1/2 cup red wine

Method

  1. Rinse and pat dry chicken legs. Cut into chunks. Coat with 1 tsp salt, dash of papper and some flour. Pan-fry in oil until the surfaces are golden.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet. Sauté garlic, onion, celery and carrot. Cover and cook in low heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Return chicken to skillet. Add tomato and herb. Mix in wine and broth. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the chicken is done and sauce reduced.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with either cooked rice or spaghetti.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

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