Common Rudd
Dried Salted Rudd [Scardinius erythrophthalmus]

This fish, native to most European rives and estuaries, has been introduced in the United States, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, Tunisia, Morocco, and Madagascar. It can be a serious invasive pest where introduced. This fish can grow to over 20 inches and 4.6 pounds, but is commonly under 8 inches. In North America it is most often found salted and dried in markets serving Russian, Ukrainian and Armenian communities. The photo specimens were 7-1/2 inches long and weighed about 0.9 ounces each. It is caught wild and farmed, Red List rated LC (Least Concern).

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Spread out Vobla Buying:   This fish is easily available, vacuum packaged in clear plastic, in the refrigerated section of any market serving a Russian, Ukranian or Armenian community - which means it is very common here in Los Angeles. It is completely interchangeable with the closely related Vobla (Common Roach). It is cheap in Russia, but not so much so around here. I have purchased it for 2017 US $9.99 / pound.

Eating:   These instructions and the photo are from our Vobla / Common Roach page, a nearly identical fish. This dried fish is heavily salted, flat, thin, completely covered with large hard scales, full of bones and stiff as a board - so how do you eat this thing? Do you really want to eat this thing? No you don't - not until you've eaten one - they're kind of addictive - so here's how to acquire the addiction. Please note, this is not something you want to do when you are in a hurry, or have plans to go somewhere.

  1. First, you need beer. You cannot eat Vobla without beer - and plenty of it - preferably Russian beer. Around here that is most commonly Baltica. This bottled beer has the unique advantage of a ring pull cap, like on a can. No other sauce or condiment is used, but Vobla goes well with conversation.
  2. Hold the fish firmly and Pull out all the fins.
  3. Now, open the belly of the fish (it has been disemboweled, because it is illegal to sell it otherwise, at least in "over regulated" California - botulism risk). Pry it open and squish it down flat, inside up. Yes, it's ugly as sin, but sin does have its attractions, no?
  4. Pull out the backbone. The thickest and easiest to recover flesh is above the backbone.
  5. Pull off small bits of flesh from the inside as you can find them, picking off any tiny bones, as best you can.
  6. Pop a little piece in your mouth and chew, along with a generous swig of beer.
  7. When no more flesh can be found, discard the debris - and send someone out for more Vobla, and more beer.
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