Fish maw 鱼鳔

Ingredient Name:  Fish Maw, Gas Bladder, Air Bladder, Swim Bladder
Chinese Name: Yu biao (鱼鳔 yúbiào)

What is this

This is an internal gas-filled organ found in most fish.

It is commonly used in chinese cooking and in chinese soups and some consider fish maw to be a luxury item (although it is not necessarily expensive).

When cooked, fish maw takes on the flavour of the surrounding ingredients.

It is an excellent source of collagen.

When purchased dried, it comes as a hard, solid, hollow, translucent tube (as shown above) and must be soaked to soften before use. When cooked, it has a soft, slippery texture.

How do I prepare it

Wash and soak your fish maw for at least 4 hours (or overnight) in room temperature water, or until it is soft and malleable.

wher can I buy this

You can find dried fish maw in most asian supermarkets and in asian herb shops.

Although some people prefer lighter-coloured fish maw, the colour has no bearing on the quality of the product.

What is the cost

Fish maw prices vary widely depending on the size and type of fish. Prices can go as high as several hundred dollars for 100g. However, it is not necessary to purchase expensive fish maw.

Any benefits

Fish maw is an excellent source of collagen.

Many Chinese people believe that drinking fish maw soup and eating fish maw will improve their skin and, for pregnant women, the skin of their babies.

Some also believe fish maw can help with fertility and will drink and eat fish maw when attempting to become pregnant.

It is also thought to help with blood circulation.

Any precautions

None that I can think of except to ensure it is fully soft before eating (otherwise it can hurt to swallow!). It is very healthy.


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