These Bombay ducks look pretty ferocious, eh? Good thing they aren't moving anymore, or they might snap off my fingers! I think they could be the star of some B grade horror movie. Can you see them wriggling around, snake-like, wreaking havoc on unsuspecting teenagers skinny dipping in a lake? Would have to make them much bigger though, since these cute little critters are only about eight inches long. But boy, they sure don't need extra teeth!
Here's a closer shot of those impressive jaws:
Apparently, Teochews love hard fish and Indians love Bombay ducks. I can't speak on behalf of Indians but as a 100% pedigree Teochew, I can vouch that my entire family loves hard fish. It's not a very common fish, certainly not something that I can find everyday. And they're sold only at markets and never at supermarkets. Or at least, I've never seen any at the supermarkets I go to.
Whenever I see Bombay ducks, I never pass up the chance to grab some. Like last Sunday when I crawled out of bed at noon and finally popped round to the market at one o'clock. At that hour, I was practically the only shopper around, and the stalls were all either closed or closing. I was thinking there wasn't anything I wanted to buy when I spotted the fishmonger lady taking a box of hard fish to the fridge.
Hey! I want that!
Phew! Just in time. Good thing I got out of bed early.
I always make a very simple soup with Bombay ducks. The fish has lots of flavour, so I just chuck it in boiling water – no stock needed – and add a bit of soya sauce, a dash of pepper, and deep fried shallots and something green as garnish. For those who love spicy and sour dips, a mix of thinly sliced chilli padis, lime juice and soya sauce makes a wonderful complement to the fish. It's simple, tasty and healthy. Not bad for a quack duck. Not bad at all.