We sure do love our seafood.
From ikan bakar to sushi to chilli crabs and lala soup, it’s hard to imagine a Malaysian diet without fish and other underwater goodies. Did you know Malaysians are the biggest consumers of seafood in Southeast Asia?
But there are some fish you should never eat.
1. Crystal Fish
This unassuming-looking fish has been making its rounds in the news lately. Why? Because it’s really a pufferfish, and unscrupulous fishmongers are selling them in Malaysian markets filleted as food.
The glaring problem with this is that nearly all pufferfish – with Japanese fugu being the most notorious of the family – are poisonous.
As little as 25mg of pufferfish poison, Tetrodotoxin, is enough to kill a human and a single pufferfish has enough to kill 30. Without skilled and proper preparation, this deadly poison in the pufferfish’s liver, blood, skin, and eggs can easily contaminate the rest of its meat. Which is why chefs in Japan require years of training and a government-issued license to prepare and serve fugu.
However Malaysian fishmongers have no such training and claim that no one has died so far from eating pufferfish. Pufferfish, they say, is delicious when fried. Well, what isn’t??
Stay away from “crystal fish”, especially if you’re around the wet markets of Penang, Kedah, and Perak.