Have you heard about Swai Fish?
If you did not, you will in the near time; but still do not be worried if this sea creature was not yet on your menu.
This is the type of fish that comes from freshwater, it is not as standard as some other types of fish that are similar to it; such type is in fact, very universal, gentle in taste, and affordable.
It comes from the Southeast parts of Asia, and it is closely related to catfish that live in the waters of North America.
Just like North American catfish, it can be very big and heavy, and it is most commonly produced in Vietnam, and many other countries that are found on that route of the Mekong Delta.
From there it is imported frozen, where it emerges on the menus usually fried, and broiled; but this is just the beginning of its immense usage.
Some people like to make curry with Swai fish, and many other dishes that taste great.
But, regardless of its fine price, nice taste, and the fact that it is good for you, there are certain limitations when you are following the kosher diet, or you belong to the Jewish faith, so this is part of such rules.
Here we will explain what kind of fish this is, and why is not kosher fish.
Is swai fish kosher?
Many Jews know from a young age what kind of food is permissible for them and what is not.
They are guided by the rivers of Moses, and they are allowed to eat all fish from rivers, seas, and lakes, which have fins and which have scales.
All other sea creatures and fish that do not possess these physical characteristics are forbidden to be eaten by the Jewish people.
Swai fish is also included in this group of fish, because it does not have scales that will protect it from predators, but has a thin skin without scales and is therefore not suitable for eating, i.e. not Kosher.
No matter how tasty and healthy a meal is, Jews must avoid this type of fish because of its physical characteristics, i.e. does not possess (scale).
There are several types of Swai fish and one is a type of Catfish, which can be caught in its natural environment and can also be farmed in ponds, but we all know that the one from its natural environment is always healthier.
On one’s table, there is a pike, this fish will not be found, but that’s why it should not be watered because God has really given us so many other types of fish that can be eaten and the choice is more than enough.
We don’t know if there is a person in this world who managed to catch all kinds of fish that exist on this planet in his lifetime, and if anyone even took up that task.
Most people always stick to one or two types of fish that are most often served in restaurants and that will be enough for them.
Of the river and sea fish in restaurants, the most common are salmon, sea bream, trout, and cod, which Jews are allowed to consume, while seafood such as crabs, lobsters, squid, mussels, and fish that do not have scales, such as Swai fish, is prohibited for them. they must not eat them.
As we can see, the Jewish people have quite a selection of fish that can be found on their menu and satisfy the body’s needs for proteins, omega fatty acids and everything healthy that this meat can provide us.
Fish is an extremely nutritious and healthy food and should be consumed at least twice a week, for the overall health of the body.
But again, the pollution of the seas and oceans and rivers in which these fish live and feed is called into question
Unfortunately, we can state that with Tuna meat, for example, there is a noticeable, devastating amount of mercury in its body, which is not good, because by consuming that fish and mint, we introduce mercury into our body and it then settles in our brain, which is not good.
Our body manages to fight and expel most of that waste, but if we did not overdo it with the consumption of fish that is contaminated with mercury, that would be a problem.
River fish gets polluted when its natural habitat is polluted, ie the water in which it lives.
Because people excessively pollute the water with wild landfills by the rivers, by pouring sewage into them.
There are cases where factories dump their waste into rivers and now the question arises, is the fish healthy at all and how healthy is it to eat, and to what extent?
Let’s not go into details now, but we just wanted to mention that this problem also exists and that the entire human race will have to work on this problem in the near future so that river and sea flora and fauna, in general, can survive on this planet.
But let’s get back to Swai fish and Kosher…
As we have already stated, it is not allowed for the Jewish people due to the fact that it does not have scales, and this should be observed, and we believe that every region knows and respects this fact.
On their table you can find various other fish that have scales and the choice of such fish is really large.
The fact that something is prepared for eating is at the same time a test that every citizen must pass, ie. to resist the temptation to taste such fish out of curiosity.
Imagine that in your people there is a tradition and belief that one should not eat, for example, any fish that has scales.
And if it was something you were forbidden to eat while you were alive, would you be able to resist it and live it?
It is not an easy path, but its benefits are more than good in this way you strengthen your will and strength to resist not only the fish with scales but also various life challenges and situations that life can put in front of you.
The Jewish people respect this way of eating because of their faith and tradition, and they are used to it and respect it very much.
More about Swai Fish
Swai Fish is in fact Pangasius, and right here catfish belongs.
Nevertheless, in the USA, this is not seen as a true catfish—as that marker is reserved for only the family Ictaluridae.
But they are similar there is no doubt about it for sure.
And when we are speaking of these fish and their tastes they are truly similar – but the look of the Swai fish is somewhat different.
It does not have the big mouth or whiskers – and catfish has both of them.
As we have said, the majority of Swai fish comes from Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, and mostly Vietnam.
Swai fish is caught from the rivers in the Mekong Delta (all the way this river goes you can catch this hearty fish).
Contemporary worries about the life of the fish have been directed to a smaller extent of the wild swai fish, and producers have turned more to the market of farmed fish, which is also gathered in the previously mentioned places.
Having in mind that the majority of Swai fish is farmed, some clusters of it may contain additives or specific chemical elements.
Those components are found in the water, and this is the reason why you should be extra careful when consuming.
Some would even argue that when compared to some other types of fish, this kind is a cheap alternative, and it costs a lot less than some other kinds.
Compared to lighter fish which is, for example, sole, or flounder, the price is much less, but here lies the problem.
You can buy this cheaper version, believing that you are buying the real deal like Grouper, and this is the case because they are so similar.
So, be extra careful when you buy it.
Now, when it comes to the taste of Swai Fish we could say it is mild and a bit sweet.
Its “meat” is much tender and chips well when boiled.
It’s equivalent to catfish in the manner it tastes, but in general, the swai fish is lighter when it comes to its taste and consistency.
Here, we have seen what kind of fish is Swai Fish, where it could be bought, and if you buy one how to choose the real one.
It can come as fish with a lot of toxic chemicals since it is very cheap, and in some parts of the world, it is sold against the more expensive white fish.
Now, those who eat by the kosher rules cannot consume Swai fish – it is not seen as kosher, because to be kosher it has to have scales, and this fish does not have them.
So, just like the majority of catfish, Swai fish does belong to this category and does not include any scales.
This is what any fish must have to be considered kosher.
Rather, Swai fish has a stout coating of skin which is there to shield the fish itself.
Based on the Jewish Kosher Law and its understanding, all fish that does not have any fins or scales are considered not edible.
Not including scales also says that Swai fish could not be part of a kosher diet.