The ancient fish part that used to be discarded due to its unpleasant smell is now a delicacy sold at 9 million VND/kg.

It takes quite a few fish to gather 1kg of this part. Nowadays, they are a delicacy selling for up to 9 million VND/kg, but when cooked, they become a delicious dish that is beyond reproach.


When buying fish, many people often focus on the meat of the fish, but few know that fish swim bladder is also a very nutritious part. The reason is that fish swim bladder is classified as an internal organ. If not processed properly, fish swim bladder can have a strong fishy odor and be difficult to eat, so many people will throw it away.

Fish swim bladder is long and has a thin white membrane that looks thin but is actually very tough, imagine it like an inflated balloon. This part is rich in collagen, gelatin, vitamin C, and beneficial nutrients. Eating it regularly helps nourish the kidneys, strengthen the waist, moisturize, and beautify the skin.

In Vietnam, fish swim bladder is a specialty of Nha Trang (Khanh Hoa province). Most tourists coming here often look for fish swim bladder to buy as a gift.

After purchasing fresh fish swim bladder, it should be cleaned and dried in the sun or lightly fried. There are many different types of fish swim bladder such as lac fish, chẽm fish, and chép fish. The average price of 1kg of fish swim bladder is around 400,000 – 4 million VND. The price of lac fish swim bladder can even reach 9 million VND/kg.

From fish swim bladder, it can be processed into many delicious dishes such as stir-frying with vegetables, spices, cooking soup, or deep-frying. Preparing fish swim bladder properly is very important before cooking.

Tips for preparing fish swim bladder without a fishy smell

Removing the blood vessels

For fresh fish swim bladder, the surface is often slippery due to the slimy membrane covering. In addition, there are many blood vessels on the surface of fish swim bladder – this is the main cause of the strong fishy odor.

To remove the odor, you put the fish swim bladder in a bowl of hot water above 70 degrees and remove all the blood vessels, then rinse it thoroughly, squeeze out the water, and then use it for processing.

Marinating with spices

Because fish swim bladder has a fishy smell, it is necessary to use stronger spices to harmonize. Depending on the processing method, you can choose suitable spices. Normally, people would use ginger, fish sauce, and a little spring onion to remove the fishy smell.

Washing with saltwater

Before cooking, you should soak fish swim bladder in water mixed with white vinegar and sugar for about 10 minutes. These ingredients not only remove the fishy smell but also keep the freshness of fish swim bladder after cooking.

Fish swim bladder sweet soup


– Fish swim bladder: 2 small ones or 1 big one

– Chicken bones: 200g

– Chicken meat: 100g

– Wood ear mushrooms: 5 pieces

– Eggs: 1

– Tapioca starch, seasoning powder, soy sauce, salt, coriander

– White wine, ginger: a small amount sufficient for making ginger broth to wash fish swim bladder


– You put chicken bones and a few slices of ginger in a pot, boil to make broth. Then, boil chicken meat, remove it when cooked, and shred it into small fibers. Remove foam from the broth regularly.

– Bring fish swim bladder to roast to make it puffed (you can use a microwave). This method helps fish swim bladder easy to cut and cook faster. When fish swim bladder puffs up, cut it into small pieces. Rinse it with ginger and white wine broth to make it fragrant. Remove and drain.

– Use a warm water bowl, add a little tapioca starch and stir well, then soak wood ear mushrooms in it to make them soft quickly. You can also use wheat flour instead of tapioca starch. Next, blanch the mushrooms in boiling water for about 2 minutes and then rinse with cold water. Cut them into thin strips. Stir-fry the mushrooms with a bit of cooking oil and seasoning powder.

– Put the chicken broth into the pot together with the fish swim bladder. When the water is boiling, add the sautéed wood ear mushrooms and shredded chicken. Cook for about 15 minutes until the fish swim bladder is tender, indicating that it is cooked. Season to taste. Add the beaten egg and stir well.

– Mix 3 tablespoons of tapioca starch with cold water. Pour it into the soup pot and stir continuously until it reaches the desired consistency. Do not make the soup too thick or too thin as it will lose its broth. Finally, add a little soy sauce to enhance the aroma.

This dish is nutritious, easy to cook, and easy to eat. You can use it as an appetizer on the table or as a source of energy at any time. Besides making fish swim bladder soup with shredded chicken, you can also stew it with ginseng or shark fin, red apple, etc.

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