That’s the word that comes to mind when people from other parts of China think about Guangdong food.
Local fishermen get up at five am, to catch a type of fish that only appears from mid-November to January.
They toss several thousand hooks with lures into the ocean. Sometimes, they get nothing in return.
Their reward is this fierce-looking fish, with an equally fierce-sounding name—dagger-tooth pike conger, worth ten thousand yuan per.
A 7-hour fishing trip ends with two congers weighing over five kg each.
A group of tradesmen await the fishermen’s return, eager to get their hands on the freshly caught congers. Price of the congers is established through bidding.
The head and bones of the conger are often used to make soup, while its meat is used in congee, or steamed.
Add garlic and ginger to local salty vegetables, then add the fish.
Another way of cooking is to marinate the fish in coarse salt, then steam.
Meanwhile, residents who hunt for another type of delicacy up in the mountains only have a month to find it.
The locals call them wuyuegu–Mushrooms of May. The foodies call them Lychee Mushrooms.
These mushrooms are only found near moist termite mounds in orchards.
They must be sold immediately after harvest, their price halving with every hour.
No one has found a way to cultivate these mushrooms.
Some residents get up at 2 am to hunt for them.
The easiest way to cook them is to steam, with just a pinch of salt.
September is time for chongkexie—“crabs with two shells.”
Their price is three to four times that of other crabs.
Chongkexie is a special type of mud crab, with a soft shell and a hard shell.