The HandCut team recently hosted students from Catherine Cook School for an exploration into cooking with Asian carp. Asian carp is an invasive species currently threatening the Great Lakes. The visiting middle-schoolers, who have been learning about invasive species as part of studies with the Global Issues Network, wondered if Chicagoland families and chefs might be able to mitigate the overpopulation problem by turning the fish into tasty dishes.
“If you can't beat 'em, eat 'em!”
Chef Thomas was up for the culinary challenge. In front of 15 excited (and hungry) students, Thomas demonstrated the challenges and possibilities of working with Asian carp as an ingredient.
“This is one of the boniest fish I've ever worked with... A good meaty fish might deliver 70% of its weight in edible chunks, but this is closer to 25% edible, because of all the bones. But if you're willing to put in the work, the flavor is simple and versatile. And at only $2.99 a pound, it's a bargain.”
To learn more about the dishes Thomas prepared and the students' reactions, check out DNAinfo.com's writeup of this fun event in the HandCut kitchen.