Factors may affect the price of fish maw

Update: 12/3/2013

Fish maw is also known as fa kau (花胶) in the Chinese dialect, Cantonese. Fish Maw is actually extracted fish air-bladder that is cleaned and sun dried.

In the Chinese cuisine, fish maw is a delicacy. When cooked, it has a marshmallow texture and tastes bland. To add taste, it is often braised or double boiled in soups.
The bigger the fish is, the bigger the stomach is thus the higher the price is commanded. The quality of fish maw depends on the type of fish.

Fish such as sturgeon, hake, conger-pike, croaker and carp get high price for their fish maws. The reason is that these fishes have large and developed air bladders.
There are also other factors that may affect the price of fish maw. Male fish's air bladder is thicker and thus commands higher price.

If fish are caught in winter, fish maw will be more expensive than usual as well. Good fish maw, has to be yellow.
The richer the colors are, the more it is able to maintain texture through an extended period of cooking. Furthermore, the older the fish maw is, the better it is.
Reason being, it has less oil and less fishy taste.
It is beleived that fish maw contains high level of collagen, which improves complexion in a person. Furthermore, it is good for lungs and is a cure for persistent cough.

Sometimes, patients who have operation would also use its soup, which helps to heal the operated wound.

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