A friend who’s a Chef cooked dinner for us last night.  A nice and hearty three course meal of asparagus tart with sesame halloumi cheese, beef steak with gourmet potatoes and finished off with crème brulee.


Clearly there was no fish in the menu but for some reason amongst the table topic was ‘fish’.  An Australian guest talked about some Australian catfish eating mice.  How gross is that.

The Malaysian Chef talked about White (or Silver) Pomfret being a prized fish for all occasions in Malaysia and Singapore.

The host from Borneo proudly introduced Empurau as the most expensive edible fish in Malaysia, native only to Kapit, Sarawak in the island of Borneo.  Empurau is a kind of carp prized for their rich, delicate flesh and firm texture. Empurau get their unique taste from a diet of special fruit that falls from trees into the rivers.  They are sold from Ringgit 400 to 1000 per kilo.  The Borneo Post recently reported a giant Empurau was sold for RM7,900 (approximately USD2,000).  If you doubt it, click here and check it out.

Because the Chinese character for fish (yu 鱼) is pronounced the same as the Chinese character for surplus (yu 余), the fish symbol is frequently used to symbolize the wish for more in the sense of good luck, good fortune, long life, children and all things good.  The word for “fish” yu is a homophone for “abundance” and “affluence”. 


In Chinese cuisine, fish is served whole rather than steak or fillet form.  If you are served fish, make sure not to flip it over to get to the meat on the other side, especially in smaller villages and communities that rely on fishing.  The Chinese believe that flipping a fish on dinner table means that a boat will capsize.

This one-word prompt (Fish) is indeed a big topic.  I could go on and on writing all for the love of FISH.

“Fush and Chups” anyone? asked a local Kiwi.

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