Tilapia: The common home-cooking dish for four different countries.


Cover Image via: Livable Future

Malaysian foodies are familiar with tilapia; it’s not only highly accessible with a cheap price but it also tastes delicious, that’s why Tilapia becomes the common dish among Malaysians. But do you know where does it come from?

Undoubtedly Tilapia comes from Africa but you might not know that it has different names in different regions. Tilapia is called Japanese fish in Singapore; Vietnamese fish in Mainland China; Nanyang fish in Taiwan. Wants to know more about this interesting fish, let’s continue reading!

Tilapia fish

Tilapia which is called “fei zhou yu 非洲鱼” in Chinese by Malaysian, is originally known as “luo fei yu罗非鱼” in Chinese. With its homeland at Mozambique Africa, Tilapia is mainly freshwater fish inhabiting shallow streams, ponds, rivers and lakes. Due to its strong reproductivity, Tilapia becomes problematic invasive species in many areas, and it is even included in the IUCN’s 100 of the World’s Worst Alien Invasive Species list. However, Tilapia becomes the main food for the people in numerous regions thanks to its large reproduction as well.

Tilapia was introduced by the Japanese during World War II to alleviate the food shortage in Singapore; it is called “Imperial Fish” by Japanese and “Japanese Fish” by Singaporean. When Japanese army retreated, two of the Taiwanese Imperial Japan Serviceman noticed the economic value of Tilapia and brought it back to Taiwan, where it got its another name of Nanyang Fish. Meanwhile Tilapia is called “Vietnamese Fish” in Mainland as they believe the fish was brought from Vietnam.

Steamed Tilapia(source: when2meets2)

Tilapia was a common home cooking in the old days when Malaysia’s resources was not as abundant as now; however, as Malaysians’ standard of living increases, Tilapia is less seen on family dinner table now and has become a popular dish in restaurants instead. Restaurant Lan Je in Selangor is very popular for its steamed Tilapia. Along the thirty years of cooking, Steamed Tilapia with three options of spicy level has become the most recommended dish of Restaurant Lan Je.

(source: 衣食住行) Lan Je Restaurant

A delicious steamed tilapia tastes fresh without unpleasant earthy taste. Restaurant Lan Je gets tilapias from suppliers and keep the fish in its aquarium for a few days; the chef will then cook the fish fresh before serving it on to customers. Additionally, they never freeze the fish before cooking it to ensure the fish’s freshness. Doused with the perfect combination of ginger, small chilli, oyster oil, onion oil and soya sauce, and topped with cilantro and chinese white wine to enhance the taste and get rid of the muddy taste, Tilapia is a must-order dish for every Restaurant Lan Je customers.

The people who go to Lan Je Restaurant will order tilapia dish for sure even though they have their own preference of fish. Thus, the sighting of Tilapia dish being served on every tables is common when you step in the restaurant.

Address:27-28, Block C, Jalan Rawang, Gerai MPS Bt.16, 48000 Rawang, Selangor

Operating Hours:1130-1500/ 1800-2230

Off Day:星期二

Phone number: 012-3397800


Translated from: 非洲鱼:一道拥有四种国籍的家常菜。原来非洲鱼又叫日本鱼,越南鱼还有…


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