Fish maw is the commercial term for the dried air bladders of large fish and for the Chinese it’s considered to be one of the four traditional delicacies of the sea. The Chinese have been serving fish maw for hundreds of years with stories about chefs preparing fish maw dishes for emperors in grand banquets at celebrations for the Han Dynasty family and important visiting dignitaries. Many Chinese people believe fish maw represents fortune and health, so today, fish maw dishes are popular for special occasions like Chinese New Year, birthdays and weddings.
Highly valued for the health benefits it’s believed to provide, fish maw is reported to contain rich proteins and nutrients, be high in good collagen, ionic acid and unsaturated fatty acid. It’s also believed to be effective in healing weak lungs, replenishing kidneys’ and boosting stamina. Many Chinese people believe that by drinking fish maw soup and eating fish maw dishes they can improve their skin, prevent ageing and brighten their skin tone.
Fish maw has no fishy taste, instead, it absorbs the flavours of other ingredients it is cooked with.
Ling has Marine Stewardship Council certification – the global gold standard for sustainability.
Ling are found at depths between 300 and 500 metres. They appear to be mainly bottom dwellers and at times can inhabit burrows on the seafloor. They do however move up the water column to feed as well, for example when feeding on hoki during the hoki spawning season. Ling are mainly caught off the southern South Island coast and on the Campbell Plateau.