Thursday, 24 November 2011

La-Ah

黄金蚬。(that word is xian3)

Know what's that?
I didn't either. 蚬就是 lala. You know, the one we order from the seafood bbq stall that also sells hang hur (stingray). The Taiwanese call it La-Ah. (Or am I the only one that calls it lala?) 

Anyway, this trip to Taiwan for my kids' travelogue, I got to see plenty of interesting things, and I will share snippets of each with you. =) (Only snippets la, because I can't reveal too much due to copyright and stuff.)

I got to visit the hometown of the Golden Clam. 

Come come...I show you...


 
Named because the water in Hua Lian Shou Feng is so clean that the clamshell that formed are pure and "golden" in colour. Clamshell colours are decided by the kind of water the clams live in. If the water is murky and dirty, the clamshells will become blackish in colour. If the water is clean, you get the golden clams. Essentially the same thing, except that the golden ones are cleaner.


 It's actually located at this place:

In HuaLian, 寿丰乡。


 The filtered clams.


 They had to go through a manual selection process so that stones and other non clams can be picked out. The machines are only able to determine the approximate configuration of a clam, but similar sized and shaped things, like stones, dead clams, clam shells without the flesh, and gong gongs, have to be manually picked out.



 See? A gong gong. Lol. Trust me, I even saw a fish on the belt.... O.O


 This is to make sure that when you cook the lot and serve them, you don't accidentally bite on a stone. (Our director found a stone amongst her clam soup still, anyway. Lol~)


 We got to pick them from the clam pond. I remembered when I was little, my parents would bring me to the Kranji Reservoir (the sea side) to pick clams. And we would bring them home to cook. I was less than 10 years old then. ^.^


 My loot!


 I turned one over and saw this. Looked like a sexual organ, no? They say the only way to differentiate male/female clams is to disect them and look under the microscope. If you see sperms then it's a male, eggs, female. 

-.-"

By the way, clams are able to change their sexes, and they reproduce by releasing millions of sperms or eggs into the water. If a sperm or egg meet, it would form a plankton-like organism until it settles on the water floor and start becoming clam-ish. So next time you're swimming in a water body where you know there are clams, note that you are also swimming amidst millions of clam sperms and eggs. Eeeeewww~~~

Imagine that you opened your mouth in the water and spewed out the water? UrGH!!!!

Of course the farm doesn't pick these clams one by one...
There is a special breeding area *don't start thinking about what's in the breeding pool*.


And they use this hugeass machine to collect the clams:




The many ways they cooked our lunch that day...

 Clam sashimi. Cold. Served (marinated) in shoyu.


 In soup.


 And stir-fried.
Yes, we had oodles of clams that day for lunch. The good thing was, clams are apparently good for the liver. 

 It can lower blood cholesterol, prevent oxidation, prevent infection, ,prevent tumours, lower blood pressure, protect your liver, remove "heatiness", remove phlegm, cure Jaundice, cure liver infections and improve immunity! WAH!!!! I didn't know gold clams are so beneficial to our health! Don't confuse these "La-Ah" with "Hum" okay? "Hum" is the one that we need the Hepatitis jabs for, and can be harmful to our liver. The La-Ahs are the exact opposite!

So for those who love staying up late and drinking/smoking, eat lots of these.


 Those are not sotong balls or fish balls okay. Those are CLAM BALLS!!! YUP!!! Made from clam flesh and cod fish!!! WHOA!!!!! *salivates*


I got introduced to a very interesting food that probably only Taiwan has. Or if somewhere else sells it, it originated here.
 A fish cooked in with a thick coat of salt. It's said that the salt removes the fishy taste, and it allows the fish to be slowly simmered inside the coat (as salt somehow is an insulator or something). Before you begin eating it, you remove its "coat" together with the skin of the fish.





Cool huh? 

There's another fish which was also kinda interesting:

 That's him. 

Before eating it, you'll have to massage it. Like, press on the body and roll it around, as if you're doing massage for the fish. Then you break off the tail. Next, you're supposed to hold the head and pull the entire spine of bones out. The challenge is not to break the spine.

Success!

The Taiwanese have very interesting ways of eating their fish hor?


Oh gosh, a beverage and ICE CREAM made with CLAM ESSENCE???


Yes, don't think there's only Essence of Chicken. There's Essence of Clam too. And since it has so many health benefits, drinking this before an exam should be much better than drinking your Essence of Chicken?


Satisfied explorer/learner. ^.^
I learn new things every day from my job. *loves*
And I share them with you...

1 comment:

  1. This is fantastic. Many people I know visited and raved about Taiwan recently. I hope I'll have a chance to visit the place one day.

    i've been reading your write ups since your 'jia li hai' (my fav) days. you're good.

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