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Asian Carp: Good Eatin?

Asian Carp have invaded many of our rivers, but they can be found at the dinner table too. Spices II, a well known Szechuan Chinese restaurant in San Francisco抯 Chinatown area, serves Asian (Silver) Carp in many of their dishes.

I assumed Fried Fish With Explosive Chili Pepper, one of the most popular dishes at Spices II, would be some type of Cod, but after the meal the waitress informed me it was Asian Carp! In my hometown of Louisville, KY, Asian Carp are considered an invasive species and threaten to disrupt entire ecosystems. I抳e encountered these 2-3 foot monsters on the Illinois and Missisppi Rivers when they started flying out of the water (almost like dolphins) at the sound of our boat engine. An Asian Carp flying through the air can do some damage, and they will often land with a big thud right in the middle of a slow moving fishing boat.

The fact I ate Asian Carp and enjoyed it came as such a shock it had to be confirmed. The waitress gave quick directions to the closest seafood market where the restaurant buys Asian Carp, and there they were swimming around in a large tank behind the seafood market counter. When I pulled out my phone to take a picture, an employee quickly told me to put the camera away. The seafood market did not allow pictures and didn抰 offer much explanation.

So my take away on this is Asian Carp are a nuisance on our local waterways, taste good, and don抰 like having their picture taken. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for these fish.

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