Japanese man says giant fish he caught in Sheung Shui river is ‘worst fish he’s ever eaten’

A Japanese fisherman’s blog chronicling his begrudging consumption of an enormous 110 centimetre-long catfish, caught in a Sheung Shui river, has been shared widely by local netizens who are apparently amazed that such lifeforms even existed in Hong Kong.

Hiroshi Hirasaka, editor-in-chief of fishing website Monsters Pro Shop, blogged about a recent visit to Hong Kong, during which he spent a few days sitting at a filthy, malodorous river – later identified by Hongkongers as Ng Tung River in Sheung Shui – trying to catch a catfish.

After three days of failure which left him empty-handed (save for some bent metal hooks… those fish are big, yo), Hiroshi reports that he finally wrestled a huge, “stinking” 110 centimetre-long catfish onto the riverbank.

Hiroshi identified it as Clarias batrachus, also known as “walking catfish”, an air-breathing fish native to Southeast Asia.

The writer claims his five-minute battle with the gigantic fish drew cheers and applause from pedestrians watching from a bridge above him. 

Hiroshi later took his slimy, dead trophy back to his hotel shower, where he cleaned and gutted it before preparing it for consumption.

Fun note: apparently the fish’s insides were “packed with black sludge” and larvae. If that’s not appetising, we don’t know what is.

Despite Hiroshi’s complaints about the fish’s smell, he ate its entire body over the course of two days “out of respect and a sense of responsibility to the fish that had given him its life”.

First, he broiled it on skewers.

Then, he fried it and covered it in chilli sauce.

Following those misadventures, the fisherman attempted to rid the fish of its stink by washing it multiple times, soaking it in milk, washing it in sake, and covering it in grated ginger for fried fritters, which apparently reduced the scent by “70 percent”.

Although that 30 percent was apparently still too intense…

Hiroshi, who has authored a book on deep-sea fishing, claimed multiple times that it was the worst fish he had ever eaten, and said the river had imparted a “chemical detergent” smell and taste to its former inhabitant.

What a twist: the polluted, smelly river begot a smelly fish which, surprisingly, tasted like shit.

If we believed in karma, we’d say the fish managed to get one over on Hiroshi, as he said his “gastrointestinal situation” was “extremely bad” in the days following. You are what you eat, right?

Photos: Hirasaka Hiroshi

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