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Doumen Common Eel Catching

Updated: 2018-09-15

Doumen's Common Eel Catching was designated a city-level intangible cultural heritage in July 2018.

The district's Huangjin Village of Jing'an Town is on the Jitimen Waterway of the Pearl River Estuary. Neighboring the South China Sea, this is where salt and fresh water meet. Rich in plankton, the area provides an ideal natural environment for the common eel.


Common eels [Photo courtesy WeChat account (ID: gh_2df76fc7eadf)]

With a history of over 90 years through five generations, Doumen Common Eel Catching is unique for its methods. Every year when the north wind blows, eels return to the Jitimen River where villagers have prepared specialized fishing tools, "Chun" and "Zeng," in advance. A row of "Chuns" (13-m cedar branches) is erected in the river, with a "Zeng" (fishing net) tied between every two "Chuns." The "Zeng" is shaped like a funnel and features increasingly narrow meshes, which makes it easy for the eel to come inside and hard to escape.


Doumen Common Eel Catching [Photo by Zhang Zhou / Zhuhai Daily]

In average length of 60 cm and weight of 1 kg, adult eels are pointy headed with deep-gray back and silver-white bellies. A culinary delight for its tender nourishing meat and high nutritious value, it has gained mounting popularity nationwide and even in Europe, the Americas, and Japan.

Ways of cooking include braising, steaming in clear soup, hot pot, pan frying, baking, roasting, and more.


Braised common eel [File photo]


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