Juvenile Rabbit fish (Manahak)
Typically two times a year the Juvenile Rabbit fish or manahak as they are called in Guam make their runs. The runs are similar to a salmon run up the river, except the manahak run onto the reef flats from the open ocean. These runs usually occur around April to May and again in October. And the schools can be quite large with millions of these small fish. Here is a link to a video on one method used to catch the manahak:
Manahak are one of the island delicacies. They are eaten numerous ways such as fried, soaked in a salt brine, and also served in finadene with vegetables. But this post is all about frying the manahak.
Here are the photos of this process.
First the manahak is rinsed off. Doing the honors here is Chef Jeff Soriano, our resident cultural cooking expert.
The manahak are allowed to drip dry before being fried.
The wok is the preferred pan used for frying. It is fast to heat up and offers a lot of working room.
The manahak are carefully dropped into the hot oil. Cooking time is about one minute.
Here you can see the manahak frying in the hot oil.
After about one minute of frying, the fish are removed.
They are then placed onto paper towels to help soak up any excess oil.
Closeup of the fried manahak.
The menu is simple. White rice and fried Manahak. The fried Manahak is crispy and has a great but not too fishy flavor. It is almost like eating potato chips. Once you start it is hard to stop.
Master Chef Jeff multi tasking.
The harvesting, cooking and or course the eating of this island delicacy only comes a couple times a year. But is definitely enjoyed by all.
Hoped you enjoyed this as much as we enjoyed eating the manahak.
Until next time....