Unusual and delectable treats fished from the depths


Photos By EDDIE CHUA

Ikan Tofu Jepun or Japanese Tofu fish has soft meat like tofu.

As the sun’s first rays pierce the horizon, casting a golden hue over the vast expanse of the sea, anglers aboard their vessels prepare for another day of deep-sea fishing.

Armed with their trusty rods and lines, they venture into the great blue, anticipating the thrill of the catch.

But beyond the usual suspects, the deep sea often has a few surprises.

Deep-sea fishing is not just about the chase; it’s about the unexpected.

While commercial fishing targets specific species, often leaving the ocean floors barren and ecosystems disrupted, rod-and-line fishing offers a more sustainable approach.

And with it comes the chance to reel in some of the ocean’s lesser-known treasures.

It is said that when stonefish venom is cooked, it loses its potency.It is said that when stonefish venom is cooked, it loses its potency.

Some fish that end up on an angler’s line aren’t the ones you’d typically find in a market or on a restaurant menu.

They might not have commercial value and lack market appeal, but they make up for it in taste and uniqueness.

Take, for instance, the largehead hairtail. This silvery, ribbon-like fish might not win beauty contests, but its delicate flavour is a treat for the palate.

Then there’s the yellowtail fusilier, locally known as “ikan tofu Jepun”.

As its name suggests, when steamed, its meat transforms into a texture as soft as tofu, melting in your mouth with every bite.

The lizardfish family, often overlooked because of its somewhat off-putting appearance, hides a culinary secret.

Once steamed, its flesh becomes so tender that you can scoop it up with a spoon, creating a delightful and unique dining experience.

But the surprises don’t end there.

The highly venomous stonefish, with its rugged appearance and camouflaging skills, might deter most from a taste test.

However, those brave enough to try will find its meat delicious, a testament to the age-old adage that looks can be deceiving.

It is venomous, but the stonefish is a delicacy for those brave enough to try.It is venomous, but the stonefish is a delicacy for those brave enough to try.

Among the catches, anglers might also find a bevy of flathead, a fish known for its peculiar shape and wide, flattened head.

While it might not fetch a high price at the market, its taste is unparalleled, making it a favourite among those in the know.

And then, of course, there’s the cusk eel, a recent surprise catch off the coast of Malaysia.

This deep-sea dweller, typically found many kilometres below the surface, is rare for any angler.

The Largehead Hairtail.The Largehead Hairtail.While it might not have commercial value, its appearance on a fisherman’s line is a story worth telling, a reminder of the ocean’s vast mysteries and the treasures it holds.

For many anglers, deep-sea fishing is not about the commercial value of the catch. It’s about the experience, the thrill of the unknown, and the stories that come with it.

Each trip to the sea is a new adventure, promising something new and unexpected.

And often, these surprise catches, overlooked by the commercial industry, offer some of the most delicious and unique culinary experiences.

So, the next time you hear tales of an angler’s unexpected catch, remember that the ocean is full of surprises.

And while not all of them might make it to the market, they’re worth seeking out for the stories they tell and the flavours they offer.

After all, there’s always something new to discover in the vastness of the deep sea.


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StarExtra , Outdoors , fishing

   

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