Smelly mandarin fish, despite the name is a dish famous for its good taste and aroma. A lot of travelers, who come to Huangshan, are attracted to taste it by its reputation. They all speak very highly of it after tasting the fish.
Smelly mandarin fish got its name because the live fish has a slimy smelly skin that deters predators.
The dish has a history of more than two hundred years and has maintained its popularity, with the name mandarin fish appearing in many pieces of Chinese literature.
The offensive skin is scraped off as the first stage of preparation. Smelly mandarin fish is also called fresh preserved mandarin fish because once the skin has been removed it is salted as if for preserving the meat. The cooked fish is crisp and tender with a special aroma, and appeals to a wide spectrum of customers.
The stench of the live fish is in great contrast with the sweet smell of the dish, which adds an ironic charm, and has helped it become one of the classic dishes of Huizhou cuisine.