Giant catfish flown 5000 miles to Norfolk tandoori


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An enormous 10-stone catfish was flown all the way from Bangladesh to a restaurant in Norfolk for a special celebratory meal.

The fish – known locally as a tigerfish – is a Bangladeshi delicacy. The management team at Diss Tandoori restaurant spotted a picture of one that had been caught in the Padma river in a newspaper and set about trying to get hold of one to bring to the UK. It was quite a wait as these giant fish aren't caught that often.

Manager Sujan Khaan told the Diss Mercury: "Once in a decade you get one of these fish. They are very rare to catch."

It took several months but eventually one was caught, and the frozen 5ft 7in catfish was flown 5000 miles to the UK. It was so big that it was transported from the airport in a seven seater van. It had to be kept in a friend's freezer because it was just too large for the one at the restaurant – and even then chefs had to cut off the tail to get it to fit.

The catfish, which cost £360, is able to feed around 80 people and takes around three hours to cook. It was used in a special curry at a celebratory banquet which took place at the restaurant on March 10.

The chefs say they think it's the first time this fish has been cooked at a British restaurant.

But what species is it, exactly? PFK's Editor Jeremy Gay says: "At first glance we thought it was a giant Pangasianodon gigas, but closer inspection of the whiskers and pectoral fins, the shape of the head and body, and its collection area of the Padma river, we are now pretty certain that its a Goonch catfish, Bagarius bagarius.

"The guys in the restaurant told us that it is called a Tiger fish, a name that we give to the African characins of the genus Hydrocynus, or even to the Asian tigerfish Datnoides. They also told me that it is called Tiger fish because of its stripes, which Goonch dont have, but we can't see any stripes on the frozen fish and reckon with some certainty that it is in fact a Goonch.

"It's ironic really that they are eating this catfish as local myths surrounding this species say that it is the catfish that eat the humans!"