Chasing Fish in Qiantang River

    wheat on the fuchun river

    Map of wheat on the Fuchun River

    In early spring, the perch enters the Qiantang River from the estuary, and then goes upstream into tributaries and creeks.
    They are in great numbers, like an endless stream of silver streamlined fish parading the river. Their caudal fins seem to never tire of fighting the current.
    Generally speaking, white perch go upstream from large waters to lay their eggs. The smaller males are the first to arrive, and they will be the first to find the perfect spawning site at the right depth and current. The females follow, which are larger and full of roe. This period is the harvest season for fishermen.
    "Jiyingyu" is the perch. "Jiyingyu" has a source. Zhang Han, courtesy name Jiying, was a native of Wu County. Zhang Han was an official in Luoyang, and when he saw the autumn wind blowing, he began to miss the watermelon soup and sea bass soup in his hometown Wudi. This kind of nostalgia for food is enough to destroy a person's will. Zhang Han said: "Life is all about fulfilling one's wishes. How can you be an official in a place thousands of miles away from home in order to gain fame and title!"
    So Zhang Han resigned very willfully.
    He wants to go back to eat fish and drink water-cress soup.
    Then we have a very good idiom called "the thoughts of water perch".
    Sea bass is a very good fish. It is recorded in "Nanjun Ji": "Songjiang glutinous sea bass is offered to Emperor Yang of Sui. The emperor said: golden glutinous rice glutinous rice glutinous rice is delicious in the southeast." The meat of sea bass is tender and has few thorns. All are wonderful things.
    Lu You, a native of Shaoxing, Zhejiang, was born in a land of fish and rice. On the dining table of Shaoxing people, fish has always appeared frequently at home. Lu You loves perch. When he was poor and down in his old age, he still did not change his original intention. He has a poem "Buying Fish":
    The two Beijing spring water chestnuts are sold by the catty, but the perch on the river is not straight.
    The house is filled with smashed incense, and the rain window evokes a drunken slumber.
    Lu You said that the flesh of the perch is at its most plump in autumn. In the spring, the perch produces seeds in April, and the body is thin, so it is not the best season to eat. But at this time, the price of sea bass was cheap, and it was a pleasure to eat. Lu You bought the sea bass and made it into sliced meat. That one was fragrant. Why not drink a little wine? The wine is paired with sea bass, and you are slightly drunk. The spring rain gently knocked on the window, the rain formed a line under the eaves, cup by cup, drinking high without realizing it, just sleeping drunk in this spring, a beautiful thing in the world. Fishing boats on the Fuchun River

    Fishing boats on the Fuchun River

    fishing pier old white illustration

    Old white illustration of fishing pier

    Still this land tour, I also eat sea bass in autumn and winter. After eating perch in winter, he wrote another poem "Early Winter Quatrains":
    The perch fat and wild wild rice are crispy and delicious, and the buckwheat oil makes the new cake fragrant.
    Since ancient times, people have been light on wealth and honor, and they have come back to their hometown with a sense of hometown.
    This time, the practice is very homely, and it is also a common dish in Shaoxing. The sea bass is boiled with soup, and it is served with raw and tender water bamboo. This is a very delicious soup. Jiangnan people, this is a very daily dish. Because the ingredients are good, it does not need any clever cooking techniques. Just cooking it in clean water can let the deliciousness of the ingredients permeate. Thinking of coming to Zhang Hansi, it is this homely taste.
    Only food can comfort.
    When I was a child, I also learned a poem in the Chinese textbook, which is a poem "The Fisherman on the River" by Fan Zhongyan:
    People come and go on the river, but they love the beauty of perch.
    You look at a leaf boat, haunt the storm.
    A perch, like this, swam into poetry and became a part of Chinese culture.
    "The west wind blows on the four-gill perch, and Wang Song is crispy and silky." How many literati and writers have written about perch throughout the ages, and how many people have seen fishing boats in the morning light or fishing figures on the Fuchun River, thinking of them in their hearts What about Fan Zhongyan's poems?
    What kind of dynasties were the Tang and Song Dynasties? Poets and writers were like crucian carp crossing the river. However, the Jingzhao Wei family must be something that people cannot ignore. During the entire Tang Dynasty, the Wei family was the most important noble family. There is a common saying in the market, "Wedu in the south of the city, go to Tianchiwu". In the Tang Dynasty, 20 members of the Wei family had served as prime ministers. It can be said that no other family in the entire Tang Dynasty could match it.
    Wei Yingwu was Wei Zhuang's great-grandfather.
    Wei Yingwu's poetic style is quiet and elegant, and he is good at describing the scenery and the poetry of the secluded life. Wei Zhuang is a representative figure of the Huajian School in the late Tang Dynasty, and he and Wen Tingjun are collectively called "Wen Wei".
    Therefore, Wei Zhuang, a poet born in the late Tang Dynasty, wrote a poem about perch, and it has been passed down like this:
    The white feather bird flies Yanko,
    Green minnows fishing for eaglefish in season.
    Fuchun River, a river full of spring.
    Spring here is rich in layers and runs at full capacity. Spring has already filled a river. From the beginning of spring, to rain, to Jingzhe, one o'clock, two o'clock, and three o'clock in the spring, a river was changed into a spring outfit.
    Spring bamboo shoots and fish, a seasonal dish in spring. Spring bamboo shoots and fish are the freshest things in this season, and they are also famous dishes with a long history in Hangzhou. We sat by the Fuchun River, drinking tea, watching the sunset go down little by little, fishing boats or other boats on the river, and the water of the Fuchun River flowing with a gorgeous golden color.
    Not long after, the spring bamboo shoots came up. Jiang Dao has not yet. But there are white bass.
    Mr. Yu Xuetang, who was our guide, was a local sage and was familiar with everything in the Fuchun River. For example, on an island called Tongzhou in the heart of the river, there is an ancient camphor tree that is more than a thousand years old. There was a big fire 70 years ago, because the villagers kindly used torches to drive out a group of wasps that were nesting in it. As a result, the branches ignited and the fire burned It lasted for seven days and seven nights. Fortunately, if the ancient camphor was blessed by God, it became more and more lush after the catastrophe. For example, someone caught the last shad in Jiangzhong in 1996, and the shad has not appeared since then.
    Another example, saury. Jiang Dao (Photo by Xu Zhihua)

    Jiang Dao (Photo by Xu Zhihua)

    Swordfish are also not uncommon in the Qiantang River. ——I once ate in Nantong and knew that eating "Mingqian Jiang Dao" is a symbol of identity. The little saury, 30 centimeters long and thin and narrow, was eaten by people with pomp and pomp. The price of three Yangtze saury is 10,000 yuan, which is absurdly expensive. Since ancient times, saury, anchovies and puffer fish have been called "the three fresh products of the Yangtze River". Li Yu in the Qing Dynasty called it "the wonderful thing of spring food", because the saury that came into the market in the spring, the softer the thorns. If you eat it in late spring, too many fine thorns will become a trouble, so the price is out of season. Also plummeted.
    In fact, the three fresh foods of the Yangtze River were originally found in the Fuchun River. Mr. Yu said that there were a lot of puffer fish in the past. When they were caught in one net, many puffer fish were thrown to the ground and immediately puffed up, and their bodies became round. This kind of fish is thrown away directly, it is highly poisonous. Eating puffer fish desperately will kill several people every year. I have eaten puffer fish once. The chef cooked a bowl of puffer fish, brought it to the table solemnly, scooped up a bowl of fish soup and drank it in front of everyone, and then sat at the door to smoke. After a quarter of an hour, everyone turned their heads and saw that the chef was still smoking leisurely with Erlang's legs, so they drank the soup and ate fish with confidence. This is also the rule for eating puffer fish.
    Mr. Yu said that there were a lot of good things in the Fuchun River at that time, a large string of soft-shelled turtles and a basin of river prawns. Now in the Fuchun River, the best fish is white perch. "People come and go on the river, but I love the beauty of perch. You look at a boat, and you go in and out of the storm." Someone recited these poems during the banquet, which reminded me of the fisherman I interviewed on this river - or the boss of the boat. That was seven or eight years ago, when I was still working in a newspaper office, I came to the Fuchun River to interview and investigate the achievements of ecological work. After thinking about it, I went to chat with the boss of the boat. Only those who walk on the river (lake) every day can really know whether the ecology is good or not. This is to take a little "fisherman's question and answer" meaning. The Fisherman's Questions and Answers is a famous Guqin song. When it is played, the song has a deep meaning and a free and easy expression.
    In that news, I wrote this paragraph:
    "Xin'an River, Fuchun River, Qiantang River - a beautiful river winding through the land of Zhejiang, passing through mountains, villages and cities, through Hangzhou, and continuously flowing into the East China Sea. This river is like a shining lifeline, Bringing vigor and vitality to both sides of the Taiwan Strait.”
    There are many fish in such a river.
    Counting down, there were herring, grass carp, silver carp, bighead carp, carp, crucian carp, bream, bamboo fish, yellow tail, saury, eel, bass, etc., as well as shrimp and crab. Today, the most common is the perch.
    While talking, a steamed white perch came up.
    It is autumn. When the sky was still bright, the fish market on the Chenjialong hydrophilic platform in Fuyang was already lively. Many people came as early as possible to buy a wild perch from the Fuchun River at the fish market.
    That's where the local fishermen gather. They go out in small boats every morning at 5 or 6 o'clock and come back at 1 or 2 o'clock in the afternoon to catch nets on the Fuchun River. The fish market every morning allows citizens to buy the fresh taste of the river in their past memories. And October is the time when wild bass is at its most plump.
    Steamed sea bass, it is a delicious dish.
    The owner of the small restaurant is a middle-aged man. He goes to the wharf to buy fish every morning, and he rushes early every day, and because of this, he is full of the guests who have heard the news.
    He said that at present, wild perch that weighs about a pound sells for 120 yuan a pound; two or three ounces are sold for 60 yuan a pound. Come November, when wild bass catches are dwindling, it's not easy to eat by then.
    In spring, there is another kind of fish in the Fuchun River, which is also extremely precious and delicious, that is, shad.
    Sadly, it's gone now.
    Anchovies are found in many rivers, and the Fuchun River anchovies are the most famous. The shad in the Fuchun River are the most valuable ones caught by Qili Taki.
    Legend has it that when Yan Ziling lived in seclusion, he went fishing by the river for the first time, caught a shad and released it. The shad was so grateful that his descendants and grandchildren would go to the Qili Taki Diaotai to thank him every year when they spawned in the Fuchun River. For all the shad who have visited Yan Ziling, he will make a red dot mark on the fish's lips. Later generations regarded the fish with red dots as the top grade.
    Shad live in the sea most of the time, only at the turn of spring and summer every year, that is, before and after the Dragon Boat Festival, and spawn and reproduce in fresh water with fast flow. The juveniles grow in the river for about four months, and then go down the river and return to the sea. Fuchun River Fishing Wharf Old White Picture

    Old white map of Fuchun River Fishing Wharf

    Therefore, during the year, only in the early summer, there is a flood of shad.
    In 1968, when the Fuchun River Hydropower Station was built, in order to protect the shad, a fish ladder was specially built between the dams for the shad to cross the dam and breed. This stairway, with a total length of 158 meters, has a rotating three-layer structure. The water depth of the stairway is 1.5 meters, and the flow rate is between 0.2 and 1.8 meters per second. Shad can go up and down freely along the stairway.
    But, naive human, do you think that shad is so stupid and easy to be manipulated?
    In a river that comes every year, when the water flow changes, when the spring is far away, the shad all know.
    After the completion of the dam of the hydropower station, a river was cut off, the water flow changed direction, and the rhythm and rhythm changed; the rapid flow of Qili Taki disappeared, and the upper part of the dam was a deep still water, which is another kind of natural deep water channel. ; And the shad , but has been unable to go up .
    The fishermen along the river all know that since the Fuchun River Power Station Dam, the shad has become more and more concentrated in Fuyang, the lower reaches of the Qililong Canyon, and it is even rarer in the future. In the last ten years, few fishermen have caught shad.
    Zhang Ailing said that there are "three major hates" in life, one hates crabapples without fragrance, two hates the spiny shad, and three hates the unfinished "Dream of Red Mansions".
    What's so hateful about being thorny? It's a pity that there is no shad in the Fuchun River.
    There is also a fish in the Fuchun River, called "Ziling Fish".
    I have been puzzled before, what exactly is Ziling fish?
    Later, when I ate "dry braised ziling fish" by the Fuchun River in Tonglu, I suddenly realized it.
    Ye Qianyu, a master of traditional Chinese painting, is from Tonglu. He likes Ziling fish in his hometown very much. He also wrote an article "Ziling fish" in which he said:
    "Ziling fish is a special product of Qili Taki. In Mengxia, the plum blossoms are beginning to rise, and many shad climbed up to the top of the Qili Beach to give birth to children. The children are fertilized and bred to be Ziling fish, which are as small as the lines of Yuezhong eel, and the shape of the fish is small. But it is different. Those with fine needles have better taste, if they are thicker, they will be slightly fishy. The catchers are caught in the shallow rapids, spread with cloth nets, and frequently display them. The strength of a poor day can gain dozens of catties. Only when the sun is exposed to dryness can it be durable and long-lasting. The clusters of fish that are different are always on the left and right of the fishing platform, and if it is close to the big river, it will be screened. Fuchunjiang Ziling fish is only produced under Ziling Beach, so people call it Ziling fish.

    Fuchunjiang Ziling fish is only produced under Ziling Beach, so people call it Ziling fish.

    Ziling fish is shaped like a Taihu silverfish, with a slender body, not over an inch. The scientific name of this fish is "Cthorn goby", which belongs to the order Perciformes, the family Goby family, and the genus Goby. Some people think that "Ziling fish" is a shad, in fact, it is wrong, Ziling fish refers to this kind of slender fish. "Whenever in the fifth or sixth month of the lunar calendar, the fishermen can spread cloth nets at the shoal and river bends." If the opportunity is good, they can catch dozens of catties a day. After catching, it should be dried or dried in time to save.
    This little fish, after the oil is boiled, is fried with red pepper, soy sauce, sugar and other condiments. Tonglu people usually cook Ziling fish by dry cooking: put minced garlic, minced ginger and chili into the oil pan at the same time, after frying the fragrance, then pour in the dried or dried fish and cooking wine, and stir fry for three to five minutes , ready to serve, then drizzle with sesame oil and serve.
    Fuchunjiang Ziling fish is only produced under the Ziling Beach, so people call it "Ziling fish". Since the completion of the Fuchun River Hydropower Station, Ziling fish have become increasingly rare.
    Xu Yu, a Qing Dynasty person, wrote "Cluster of Water", and Yu Ziling said: "Half an inch silver flower, the spring breeze is blowing on the Tongjiang River. Sitting on a high platform for fishing, I don't believe that it is baiting for Yi. Poplar flower pendant. Welcome waves with a thousand-headed needle. It's a good thing. The scales and scales are white and small for thousands of years. Who is the name of Mr. Note. Bing Ya plays the clip, and I am happy to see the fragrant soup. Imagine the Meijiaxian couple, and the flavor of the case is delayed. . Not to mention betting on golden carp."
    The Qing Dynasty poet Yu Yue said: "I think about the master, and change like a dragon. Seeing the head but not the tail, I return to lie in the green mountains. Up to now, the mountains are as green as scorpions, and there are no people in sheep and furs in the mountains. There is a high platform of thousands of feet and a hundred feet above, and there is a mountain below. One inch and two inches of travel scale. The old glutton can't stop laughing when he sees it. Duo Ziling is here. The plain book does not report Hou Situ, and Baishui has not forgotten the emperor of Han. I don't know how it tastes like dried fish. I love the name of this fish, and the guest star turns into a small fish star. Fortunately, there is no five lord mackerel mixed in, and I am afraid that the former will be mad and angry."
    Ziling fish, according to local fishermen, can also be divided into different growth stages. When they were young, they were less than 3 centimeters in length. They swam in groups around Ziling Beach from July to September every year. After being caught, it can be made into "Ziling Fish Scrambled Eggs" or dried into dried fish. Only 1 kilogram of dried fish can be made for every 6 kilograms of fresh fish.
    When the Ziling fish grows to 3 inches long, the locals call it "bamboo fish". The meat is delicious and can be steamed, braised, made into soup, or mixed with other vegetables to make many delicious dishes.
    Now, when you come to Tonglu, you must find local delicacies. In a restaurant near the Fuchun River, I casually asked the owner if there was Ziling fish. The boss said yes, and after a while, he brought a plate of dried braised ziling fish.
    Dried braised ziling fish, the fish is slender, fried and crispy, you can chew it with the bone and meat. The fragrance and freshness of this fish is unforgettable, and accompanied by a pot of small wine, there is a beautiful view of the river outside the window, which is really drunk.


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