Mon, Jul 09, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Restaurant owner heavily criticized for serving live fish

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

A restaurant owner in Chiayi surnamed Wang has been heavily criticized after adding a dish from China's Sichuan Province known as yin-yang fish to the menu last month because of the cruelty in the preparation, a report in the Chinese-language United Daily News said yesterday.

The dish is prepared with live fish whose body is deep fried with a sweet and sour sauce, while the head remains untouched, the report said.

When the dish is served, the fish is still alive and the head is still moving, it said.

"Speed is the key -- when you prepare the fish, you can't hurt its internal organs, so when you serve it, it can stay alive for at least half an hour," Wang said on a broadcast by television station ETTV.

Others were appalled at the dish.

"It's shocking and disgusting," a customer surnamed Chen was quoted by the United Daily News report as saying.

Chen reported the dish to local authorities, but the restaurant owner was not penalized because the fish used for the dish, carp, is not listed as an endangered species, the United Daily News report said.

"The dish is certainly exotic, but quite inhumane," a Chiayi City official Huang Wen-hsien (黃文賢) said in the United Daily News report. "How could you eat the fish when its eyes are staring at you?"

After criticism of the dish increased, Wang decided to remove yin-yang fish from the menu last week, radio station BCC reported.

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