Every few days our team will scour Shanghai’s dining scene for scrumptious dishes that’ll fill your belly without emptying your savings. Not to discriminate, we’ll search everywhere from bicycle carts to chic venues with twenty-course tasting menus, knowing that any spot could have the next Dish of the Day.
Many Westerners see fish skin as slimy refuse you peel off your catch and throw to the pelicans, a practice Chinese would deem culinary castration. In fact, some Chinese dishes call for just the skin of the fish, our favorite being a cold plate at down-home seafood restaurant, Chang Jiao Hai Xian.
Their rendition, liang ban yu pi (20RMB) calls for cooked strands of fish skin that are transferred between bowls of hot and cold water until they adopt the crunchy-meets-wobbly consistency of jellyfish. If you’ve never eaten jellyfish, imagine a cucumber mated with gelatin. And like jellyfish, bird’s nest, and other textural wonders, fish skin takes on the flavor of whatever it’s paired with – in this case, a bit of chili sauce.
For us, fish skin’s a crisp, tingly, and cooling refreshment in this (hopefully) increasingly warm weather. Still not convinced to try? What if we told you the collagen in fish skin helps rejuvenate your own?
Chang Jiao Hai Xian – 429 Pingliang Lu, Tongbei Lu (平凉429路, 近通北路). Tel: (0)21-6537-9023. Hours: 9am-5am.
Last time on Dish of the Day: Carp head and tofu soup @ Dahushedao
See a complete list of our Dish of the Day series here.
Have a recommendation for Dish of the Day? Let Shanghaiist’s food editor Benjamin Cost know at [email protected]!