Try the Seafood Dish That Is Both Dead and Alive

Physicists are familiar with the concept of Schrödinger’s Cat — a creature that can be described as being simultaneously dead and alive. Most of us can relate to having been served undercooked meat that makes us wonder if the food on the plate still has a pulse. Both concepts come together for those who are served Yin and Yang Fish. It is a seafood dish that is both dead and alive.

Yin and Yang Fish is a controversial meal and is not for anyone sensitive about animal cruelty. The dish is prepared by cooking a fish’s body while keeping its head alive and animated.

If you are not prepared for the experience, you will find it downright disturbing. Ideally, the mouth and eyes move throughout the meal as the diners consume its body.

Yin and Yang Fish is also known as “dead and alive fish.” It was created in the early 2000s by a restauranteur in Chiayi City, Taiwan. The dish is typically made from a carp.

The first step in preparation is to remove the scales from the live fish. Next, the chef wraps the fish’s head in a towel with ice cubes. With the head properly protected, the body is dunked in a wok of hot oil and fried for about two minutes. Finally, the fish is unwrapped, mounted on a large plate, and covered with sweet and sour sauce.

Chefs who serve the meal assure diners that the fish is not really alive. The movements of the eyes and mouth are said to be involuntary nerve spasms. Even so, when pictures and videos of Yin and Yang Fish spread on the internet, public outrage led to the prohibition of the dish in Taiwan. It remains available in other parts of the world, especially in China.

Watch this video that shows the reaction of diners — and the fish — when Yin and Yang Fish is served.

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