Fish maw, also known as swim bladder or fish air bladder, is a dried seafood product that is commonly used in Asian cuisine, particularly in Chinese and Cantonese cooking. Here, we look at what it is, and what are its benefits.
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What is Fish Maw?
Fish maw is the gas-filled swim bladder that helps fish maintain buoyancy and control their depth in water. It is extracted from mainly croaker, sturgeon, and cod fish. The swim bladder is cleaned, sun-dried, and then processed into a variety of shapes and sizes for use in culinary preparations.
It is prized in Asian cuisine for its unique texture, which is gelatinous and chewy when rehydrated. It is usually found is stir fries, soup or stew, and has a mild flavour that absorbs the flavours of the other ingredients in the dish.
Often, it is paired with other premium ingredients such as abalone, sea cucumber, and scallops, hence making the dish on the expensive side.
How is Fish Maw good for me?
In traditional Chinese medicine, fish maw is believed to have various health benefits, such as promoting healthy skin, improving digestion, and strengthening the immune system. It is used in soups and other dishes as a tonic for postpartum women, and people recovering from illness or surgery.
This said, many of the health benefits are based on traditional Chinese medicine beliefs and have not been extensively studied or proven scientifically. Hence as with any food, it is important to consume in moderation.
Good for skin
Supports digestion and boosts immunity
The product is a good source of protein and is low in fat, making it easy to digest. It is also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to soothe the digestive tract.
Fish maw is rich in nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins B and D, which are essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. It is also believed to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help to boost immunity.
Fish maw is believed to contain compounds that can help to speed up the healing process after surgery or injury. It is often used in Chinese medicine to help patients recover from surgery or illness. Hence, coming back to it being a popular dish for females going through postpartum.
Fish maw is believed to be beneficial for the skin, digestion, immunity, healing, and kidney function due to its high collagen content, low fat and rich nutrient composition, and anti-inflammatory properties.
It is however worth noting that many of the health benefits are based on traditional Chinese medicine belief. With food, it is important to consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
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