I Smelt It: Part One

26 Feb

As my Lionfish depletes the Silverside minnows, I have been intending to get to the Asian market and buy some frozen Smelt.
Tonight I did just that, stopping after work and finding a 2 pound bag for $5.40. I was thrilled. Compare that to about a dollar per ounce for Silversides. The Smelt are under 20 cents per ounce.
The Smelt are much larger than the Silversides and when I got home I noticed the bag said Canadian Lake Smelt. I had a lot to learn about Smelt. Are they freshwater? I thought they were saltwater, and I want saltwater fish to feed my saltwater Lionfish. As I have mentioned before, it is imperative that a Lionfish eats saltwater fish. The fat content of freshwater fish like Goldfish and Rosy Red Minnows is not healthy for Lions.

OK, back to the story.
I thawed out a few Smelt in a bowl of cold water. I picked the smallest one and sliced it lengthwise, making it about the same size as a Silverside Minnow. I took it over to the Saltwater tank and swished it around the surface of the tank, trying to get the Lionfish’s attention. He must not be very hungry tonight because he ignored it.
As I swished the fish around, many little eggs went floating out into the water. The Clownfish and Royal Gramma started snapping them up!
After they ate I took the remains of the Smelt to my freshwater fish where they enjoyed Smelt Cavier as well. Here is an interesting thing that I just read on Wikipedia:
Smelt is also served in Dim sum restaurants deep fried with the heads and tails attached as Duō luǎn yú (多卵魚), which loosely translates as  “fish with many eggs”.

Cool, “Fish with many eggs”.  So why is that? It appears that at least some species of Smelt DO live their lives in the Ocean but they go to freshwater lakes to spawn, where they are captured, hence the captured ones may be full of eggs. So far I have only one fish to go by! Not Goby, which were also for sale at the Asian Market.
We have a popular Fish Market/Restaurant in town but they have NOTHING compared to this Asian market.  I can’t wait to go back and buy seafood there.

Stay tuned for Part Two of The Smelt Story, which involves Beer.

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2 Responses to “I Smelt It: Part One”

  1. becomingcliche February 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    Beer and venomous fish. I’m waiting with, um, baited breath!

    • fishtanx2011 February 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm #

      No one got hurt, but as Spring approaches, bait is a very real possibility.

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