Humble Fish Descaler

in life •  last month


I bought a fish scale remover a few years ago with the aim of using its embedded nails to puncture some holes on the rind of a big piece of pork belly. The recipe was Chinese style roast pork and it called for a spike to poke holes on the rind to encourage crackling or super crispy rind.

I couldn't find a spike and thinking several nail spikes was better and faster than a single spike for the job, I made a poor judgement in buying the fish descaler. It failed miserably at poking and remained redundant in the kitchen toolbox ever since.


I finally needed to use this long abandoned tool today. My lovely niece had brought me a whole fish when she came home from a working trip abroad. It was very properly packed and frozen. I left it still wrapped in the fridge for almost two days to allow the fish to defroze.

When ready to clean and cook the fish, I realised that the fish has yet to be gutted and the scales not removed. So out came the fish descaler and what a mess I made. The scales flew everywhere and the sharp nails almost scrapped my hand.


I spent ages cleaning the floor and backsplash around the sink. Even the fridge door was not spared. The scales were stubborn and stuck to the tiles when dried up.

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