The snakehead fish is a species of freshwater fish that is predominantly found in the Southwest region, particularly during the flood season when the Mekong River flows.
1 What is Snakehead Fish?
The snakehead fish belongs to the Carp family and is native to the basins of the Mekong River and the Chao Phraya River in Thailand, Sumatra, Borneo, and the Malay Peninsula. This species thrives in freshwater environments, with a higher presence during the flood season. Their diet consists mainly of submerged plants, insects, algae, and small crustaceans.
Characterized by a small, pointed head, big eyes, a tall body, and a small mouth with two pairs of whiskers, the snakehead fish has a slender and tall body. Its fins and tail are reddish or turmeric yellow, and it has white scales with a metallic shine. The meat of the snakehead fish is soft, smooth, and highly nutritious, making it not only a delicious dish but also a valuable food source.
There are two common types of snakehead fish that are frequently encountered – the red snakehead fish (Barbonymus schwanenfeldii) and the yellow snakehead fish (Barbonymus altus). These two species are similar in characteristics and nutritional value.
2 How much does Snakehead Fish cost? Where to buy?
Currently, fresh snakehead fish is priced between 150,000 VND to 200,000 VND per kilogram. Since the fish is primarily caught in the wild, it is advisable to purchase it from reputable seafood suppliers, supermarkets, or through social media platforms and e-commerce websites.
Here are some suggested addresses in Ho Chi Minh City where you can buy live snakehead fish:
- OK Food Company – 186 Phu Dinh, Ward 16, District 8, Ho Chi Minh City
- Mekong Specialty – 195 Ngo Tat To, Ward 22, Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City
- Fresh Live Seafood Mr. Rich – 80/28 Street 9, KP5, P. Hiep Binh Phuoc, Thu Duc, Ho Chi Minh City
3 How to choose and buy Snakehead Fish
- When purchasing live snakehead fish, it is important to consider its external appearance.
- Ensure that the fish has a bright color, clear and slightly bulging eyes, shiny scales without any color changes. Avoid choosing fish that are swollen or pale.
- Choose fish with intact skin and firm, slightly elastic meat. Fresh fish will bounce back without leaving any dents when pressed lightly.
- Fresh fish should have a natural smell like water from a pond. A strong fishy smell indicates spoilage or chemical preservation.
- Check the gills of the fish – fresh fish should have a fresh pink color, while dark brown or faded gills indicate that the fish is no longer fresh.
We hope this article has provided you with valuable information about the snakehead fish, a delicacy of the Mekong Delta during the flood season. If you have the opportunity, we encourage you to try the delicious dishes made from this fish!