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Asian Carp: Eat ‘Em If You Can’t Beat ‘Em

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The dreaded Asian carp, left, can be transformed into gourmet fare like "Silverfin" cakes in mornay sauce, right. (CBS)

The dreaded Asian carp, left, can be transformed into gourmet fare like “Silverfin” cakes in mornay sauce, right. (CBS)

Roseanne Tellez Roseanne Tellez
Roseanne Tellez is the co-anchor of CBS 2 Chicago′s midday News at...
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CHICAGO (CBS) — The Asian Carp is a threat to the Lake Michigan eco-system, but it turns out they’re also delicious.

They don’t look appetizing, growing up to 100 pounds and jumping out of the water. But state officials think if people can get used to eating them, it could solve two problems at once.

CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez went to Christ the King High School in the Austin neighborhood, where the Asian carp was prepared for a gourmet taste test.

Louisiana chef Phillippe Parola says any recipe you’d use with perch, snapper or grouper works just fine with Asian Carp.

“It’s not Asian carp anymore – it’s called Silverfin,” he said.

Parola served up Silverfin fish cakes with mornay sauce to prove his point.

“It’s a gourmet dish out of this fish that we made,” he said. “You have a meal here that will cost you literally less than 50 cents. Come on!”

The state Department of Natural Resources, which caught more than 200 tons of the fish last year, currently sends if off for use as fertilizer. But agency officials think there are far better uses.

“From high-end restaurants to the family dinner table to food pantries, this is something that could be eaten,” DNR’s Marc Miller said. “It’s a good, healthy fish

Parola says the fish’s meat is rich with oil and nutrition. The challenge is to get the bones out and to get a processor to package it for food pantries.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts Reports

The chef’s favorite way of cooking Asian carp?

Sauteed with butter.

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