Small smallscale mud carp - Cirrhinus microlepis

Cirrhinus microlepis – The flying carp

Cirrhinus microlepis is a species of ray-finned fish in the genus Cirrhinus (round-snouted fish). This carp is distributed in Laos, Thailand and the Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. In Vietnam, it lives in provincial floodplains during the flood season and in main rivers (Đồng Nai – Sài Gòn river system, Vàm Cỏ Đông – Vàm Cỏ Tây rivers and Mekong river) during the dry season. It also occurs in Trị An lake, a large freshwater lake in Đồng Nai province.

Small smallscale mud carp - Cirrhinus microlepis
Small smallscale mud carp – Cirrhinus microlepis

This carp is known to be able to erupt out of the water surface as if it is flying. In Vietnamese, C. microlepis is known as cá duồng or cá duồng bay.

  • Family: Cyprinidae
  • Subfamily: Labeoninae
  • Genus: Cirrhinus
  • Species: Cirrhinus microlepis
  • English name: smallscale mud carp
  • Vietnamese names: (cá) duồng, (cá) duồng bay

Culinary uses

Small smallscale mud carps are less appetizing in Vietnam, but big fish weighing over 4 kgs are well-consumed. The biggest duồng carps can weigh over 10 kgs (22 lbs). Its maximun length is known to be about 65cm (25 inches).

Small smallscale mud carp
Small smallscale mud carp

Duồng carps are more popular in southwestern provinces like Đồng Nai and Bình Dương. It’s unknown to northern Vietnam because the fish species does not occur there.

Braised duong carp - Cirrhinus microlepis - smallscale mud carp
Braised duồng carp

Duồng carps can be braised, cooked with sour soup creeper leaves, steamed in soy sauce… But many local gourmets often prefer the steamed fish with soy sauce, then get rolled in rice paper with raw vegetables to enjoy the chewy sweetness of fish meat. Braised duồng carp is also popular in An Giang province, and the canned braised fish can also be found.

hotpot duong carp - Cirrhinus microlepis - smallscale mud carp
Hotpot duồng carp served with chili fish sauce

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