Chaozhou is a city with the meandering Han River flowing through it.
Across generations, the people of Chaozhou have never ceased to
explore the culinary possibilities of the river's bounty.
Chaozhou fish sashimi is not only a tribute to the local freshwater fish,
but also a testament to Chaozhou chefs' confidence in their knife skills.
The most classic Chaozhou fish sashimi is made using freshwater grass carp.
A fresh and vigorous grass carp is caught, cleaned, and skinned in one swift motion
without allowing it to touch water. It's wiped clean only with a clean towel.
The fish meat is raised, hung on an iron hook, and left to air-dry for a while.
Chilled and sliced with a sharp knife, the meat becomes even more refreshing.
With their masterful knife skills, chefs transform the fish meat into thin slices,
just 0.5 millimeters thick,
resembling the delicate wings of a cicada.
These translucent slices gleam, revealing intricate and fine patterns.
A bowl of secret sauce forms the heart of Chaozhou fish sashimi.
Putting ingredients like shredded ginger, celery, coriander, peanuts, pickled vegetables, and garlic into the sauce,
diners create individualized seasonings.
Guantang Town in Chaozhou is famous for its fish sashimi and is also renowned as a hometown of overseas Chinese.
Despite being far from home, they take their hometown as an everlasting concern.
And it is the taste memory that best carries this concern.
If fish sashimi is a culinary concern of the older generation of Chaozhou residents,
then "shengyan" (raw marinated dishes) is a more contemporary exploration of
the art of "eating raw" by the new generation.
Raw-marinated salmon retains the tenderness and fat of the fish meat
and gains a unique flavor from the seasonings.
Raw marinated green crab is Chaozhou's special "ice cream".
Raw marinated blood clams, though slightly fishy, have tender flesh that is irresistible.
Amidst the landscape of Chaozhou, the culinary memories of Chaozhou expatriates continue to evolve.