Anywhere a river runs through it, near it or within motorcycle driving distance there is freshwater fish in Southeast Asia. Often served grilled (sometimes with a salt and or herb crust) trussed in bamboo splints, it was always good. Usually the fish was wild-caught tilapia, although sometimes in stews or braises it would be wild or farmed catfish.
At many markets, the fish would swim in a pan or tank of water until it was chosen for someone's lunch or dinner. Then it would be killed, gutted and filleted as desire by the fishmonger, usually a woman sitting on the ground or a low stool with a round wooden butcher block in front of her.
This fish awaits a hungry customer in Luang Probang, Laos.
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