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Local restaurant puts Asian carp on menu for one day | News

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Local restaurant puts Asian carp on menu for one day
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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM)- A popular Grand Rapids restaurant is putting Asian carp on its menu for an environmental cause.

San Chez Bistro is working with a local group to raise awareness about the threat of the fish getting into the Great Lakes.

The restaurant was asked by the West Michigan Environmental Action Council to host a "Fight 'em and Filet 'em" event.  The chefs prepared Asian carp dishes for people to try.  "We're having five different dishes up there.  All the way from carp Caesar salad to carp sloppy Joe," says Cindy Schneider, General Manager of San Chez Bistro.

Not only will customers get to taste the fish, but they'll learn why it's important to keep the fish out of the Great Lakes.  Dan Schoonmaker with WMEAC says, "Because they are so strong and aggressive, they eat up the plankton supplies. The other fish die out."

The fish are also dangerous.  They jump out of the water when a boat passes by.  The problem has gotten so bad in Illinois that an effort is underway to market the fish for consumption.  They are extremely popular in China, but not in the United States.

The chef's at San Chez say part of the problem is that Asian carp are full of bones.  By the time the chef's filet them, there's not much to eat.  "The whole fish might be 25 pounds.  And we're yielding about a half pound of usable product out of each fish," says Sous Chef, Daryl Rector.

Those who have tried it, say Asian carp tastes pretty good, but don't expect to see it on the regular menu at San Chez Bistro.  The "Fight 'em and Filet 'em" event is one time deal.

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