Cooking and presenting a whole fish - from nostril to tailfin - is a classic approach in Chinese gastronomy. Meanwhile, in Western kitchens filleting is the usual practice. What difference does it make to the taste and texture of the fish to cook it on the bone and with the head? How does the collagen from the bone keep the flesh moist? What techniques make the best of this and how many ways to cook whole fish demand preparation as opposed to the a la minute methods of western cookery?
Has whole fish always been prized? How obsessive were Chinese chefs about cutting fish in the correct way? How important were fish heads in the history of Chinese cuisine, and how has the market for dried fish heads, lips and maw generated enormous wealth for some in Hong Kong? What special knife skills, and techniques for deep-frying, are required to recreate the visually amazing plates of whole fish in Chinese cuisine?
Intro and outro music: 遊子 [wanderer] by mafmadmaf.com