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Fish Swim Bladder


Fish Maw

Fish maw is consider a delicacy in Chinese cuisine though it is not as pricey as bird nest, shark fin, abalone and cordyceps. People who are familiar with fish maw know there many types of fish maw. Pangaciuos, Eel, Catfish, Senangin, Snapper, Grouper, Seabase etc.

Fishes from different countries and different type of fish, produce different flavouring. Fish maw from other producing countries in Asia are Vietnam, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. Did I miss out any country? Let me know if I did.

Among the favorites fish bladder or swim bladder sold on local market is from Senangin fish. Most swim bladder available on the market are those already process (fried and puff).

Fish swim bladder

How to choose fish maw
Fish maw in a pack

I personally prefer those that is thin and in tube shape. The picture I shown above are some of those that is flat (from bigger fish) and rather thick.

1. Normally fish maw is graded according to grade. Better one are priced more. First tip, look at the price. They do have a grading system in place.

2. Big or small size fish maw? Choose those that are thinner and smaller in size. Thick fish maw may not fluff evenly when fried and would end up like ‘dough in baking’ when cooked. What’s more, smaller ones are cheaper and easier to cook – a word of wisdom from my own cooking experience fish maw.

3. Take a smell if it’s not packed or sealed. It should have pleasant smell and free from any rot or oily odor.


How raw fish maw is prepared

Good care is needed when preparing raw fish maw. Because it is an internal organ of a fish, it needs immediate cleaning once the maw or bladder is extracted.

Once cleaned, it needs drying or it would get rot and have a bad smell even after fried. When properly dried, it will fluff fully when fried in oil.

How to prepare fish maw for cooking

1. If you have fish maw in dried form, you need to fried it until golden brown. This step is no secret, just heat up oil until hot and put in dried fish maw. Turned sides as need to allow an even fluff. You can store fish maw in this form or use it in cooking.

2. Soak fish maw in water until it soften. Usually this would take about ½ an hour. Cut into smaller pieces. Praboil, drain water and dried it before cooking.


Fish swim bladder soup

Fish bladder soup recipe

On one rare occasion, I attended a wedding dinner and to my surprise one of the dishes served is fish swim bladder soup. The soup is like a “Buddha jump over the wall” (a special chinese dish with lots of delicacy). It has dried scallop, abalone, ginseng roots, sea cucumber, chicken and fish swim bladder in it.

Nowaday, I don’t find this kind of recipe being served in the city, not even in 6 stars hotel’s wedding banquet. This fish maw soup, was served by a small restaurant located in Segamat, Johor.


Fish maw recipes

Here come some Chinese style cooking recipes, for your fish maw that’s easy and simple to follow even if you’re not a chef, hope you enjoy following the recipes and happy trying it out yourself.

1. Dried Fish Maw soup recipe
Non fried fish maw soup recipe


2. Chicken Scallop and Fish Maw recipe
Chicken scallop and fish maw recipe


3. Fish Maw Abalone soup recipe
Fish maw abalone soup recipe


4. Double boiled fish bladder and spare ribs soup recipe
Spare ribs and dried fish bladder recipe


5. Fish Maw soup recipe


6. Fish maw with eggs and bean sprouts recipe

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  1. Molley says:

    Simple and good tips.

    • Curk says:

      Go for those thin fried swim bladder. It’s easier to prepare, lesser cooking time and tastes better. :)

  2. Serena says:

    Besides the usual cooking, you can use fish bladder, stuff with fish paste, just like Yong tau foo.