Fishy Wishy in the Brook

Fishy wishy in the brook,

Daddy catch him with a hook,

Mamma fry him in the pan,

Baby eat him like a man.

Anybody else learn that nursery rhyme as a child? Even if you haven’t, this blog post is everything you’ve ever wanted to know about fish, Shanghai style.

One of the wonderful things about living in Asia is eating fish. I have never had badly cooked fish here. Even at large banquets where 200 people are being served all at once, the fish dishes come from the kitchen perfectly cooked and piping hot. I don’t know how they manage it. To tell you the truth, I hadn’t truly realized what properly cooked fish tasted like until I came here, I had had it so rarely.

Yesterday, I went to the largest fish market in Shanghai, which happens to be the wholesale market for the restaurants, but humble home cooks can also shop there which is a great advantage as the prices are 20-40% less than a regular market. So, even if they charge you more because you are a foreigner, you are still getting a good deal.

The market is right outside Exit 5 of Zhenru Station on Line 11 of the subway, about 5 stops away from our apartment. It runs an entire block (possibly more-I was spending so much time listening and taking pictures I wasn’t paying attention!). Most of the fish are still alive and swimming and the biggest impression we all had was how clean it was. I haven’t posted the pictures yet of the fish market in Bali that Meredith and I went to, but the difference was dramatic. Most of those fish were dead though.

We also went to a temple that was across the street and then had lunch at one of the restaurants. It was quite the day!

The pictures are now in a gallery. Click on the first picture to make them appear in the middle of your screen. Then use the arrows on the right and left side of the screen to scroll through the pictures.

On a final note, the Chinese value foods that are difficult to get, thus their fondess for things like dried shark fin. It’s an 8 step process to finally get a piece of that cartilage to put in your soup.  Some of the other 8 treasures are bear’s hand–in particular the soft palm, the feet or hands of chickens and ducks, kangaroo lips (they have lips?), dragon livers and phoenix gizzards. Some say that dragons and phoenix no longer exist because of overconsumption of livers and gizzards.

Sure… why not?


About DECRYPTKNIT: knitter on the loose in Shanghai

Hi, I'm Marisa Newhouse, a former pharmacist (for a brief time during the Reagan administration) who's real calling was probably anything that has to do with cooking, plants, literature and especially knitting; hence my last and favorite job, working at Woolyminded, a wonderful yarn store. But now, I have moved half a world away to Shanghai where my husband will be working. Lots of people are interested in what we will be doing here and I have always kept journals of our travels, so I thought I'd do it the modern way and keep a blog.
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