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Fish etc in China


liuzhou

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17 minutes ago, JoNorvelleWalker said:

I love the taste of grouper but I had a pet grouper for about a year, which makes me hesitate to order grouper at a restaurant.

 

 

My mother was a keen tropical fish keeper and would be shocked to see the the fish counters in my local stores. I think they have 90% of her favourites ready for cooking.

 

My youngest brother had a huge tilapia which lived years. He was horrified to see them on fishmongers' slabs.

 

 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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When I arrived in China 28 years ago, I was surprised to see a fish I recognised, but couldn’t afford! What I was looking at in a Beijing supermarket was S: 多宝鱼; T: 多寶魚 (duō bǎo yú), Scophthalmus maximus or Psetta maxima, Turbot.

 

turbot.thumb.jpg.dec9876c49bbffe7cf95ba414395ba72.jpg.3abf3a54ba402b27589c409d375dd317.jpg

 

What surprised me was not so much the price but that I knew it was a European native found in its greatest numbers around the coast of Britain and at the eastern end of the English, but in lesser quantities by Mediterranean coasts – certainly not in eastern Asia.

 

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Distribution of wild turbot: AquaMaps (2019, October). Computer generated distribution maps for Scophthalmus maximus (Turbot), with modelled year 2050 native range map based on IPCC RCP8.5 emissions scenario. Retrieved from https://www.aquamaps.org.

 

The price, which I can’t precisely remember, was astronomical, but it seemed some people appreciated it enough pay for it to be flown in from Europe. But then, the Chinese literally means ‘many treasures fish’.

Today, it is farmed here and, although not exactly cheap, is affordable. Around ¥66 / $9.12 USD for a 500g / 18 oz whole fish.

 

I’ve only eaten it in one way in restaurants – steamed with soy sauce, although I’ve pan fried it at home.

 

IMG_2922.jpg.63ee1efa74ec8214f755bfb792aa2df9.jpg.186e363d400e5310bab5802adb3a072e.jpg

Steamed Soy Sauce Turbot in a Hunan restaurant in 2016

 

 

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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cod.thumb.jpg.7f6c4377159c57c5dbe6d3648579d82c.jpg

 

鳕鱼 (xuě yú), Gadus morhua is Atlantic cod. The first character is made up of two parts. On the left we have (xuě) meaning ‘snow’and on the right (yú) meaning ‘fish’. So, ‘snow fish’, presumably due to its white flesh.

 

Like salmon above, cod is imported from Norway, but is an only moderately popular fish here. It is mainly sold as frozen cod steaks sliced at right angles to the spine and more rarely as fillets sliced parallel to the spine.

 

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It seldom sold fresh, but when it is, it is again normally as steaks. Whole fish are also occasionally available in various sizes. A 650-750 gram / 23-26½ oz fish sells at around ¥115 / $16 USD. I’ve never seen it cooked any other way than by steaming it, China’s default for white fish.

 

I use fillets for fish and chips, which, when you think about it, is really also steaming it – albeit inside a crisp fried batter.

 

cod fillets.jpg

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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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Posted (edited)

This morning I came across something in my local supermarket that I’ve never seen in any Chinese supermarket before. They were lived and labelled as, and looked like 波士顿龙虾 (bō shì dùn lóng xiā), which are Homarus americanus, Boston Lobster. How they ended up here I’ve no idea. The tank held around a dozen of them.

 

Previously I’ve only been able to order them for delivery, usually 24 hours in advance being required.

 

The Chinese name for lobster is 龙虾 (lóng xiā), which literally means ‘dragon shrimp’. Be careful, though. The extremely popular 小龙虾 (xiǎo lóng xiā), meaning “small lobster” are crayfish. Often restaurants that provide English on their menus omit the “small”.

 

These real lobsters were on sale for ¥268 ($37 USD) per 500 grams (1.1 lbs). Unfortunately, they were in a dark corner of the store and my photos aren’t clear.

 

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So, here’s one I had delivered at Christmas from my delivery app. It was slightly more expensive.

 

_20240418165716.thumb.jpg.54359899e5d929a0fb88ea54e246a9c3.jpg

 

Edited by liuzhou (log)
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...your dancing child with his Chinese suit.

 

A terrible thing is ignorance, the source of endless human woes, spreading a mist over facts, obscuring truth, and casting a gloom upon the individual life. - Lucian of Samosata (born 120, died after 180 CE)

 

The Kitchen Scale Manifesto

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