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Shanghai Fish Identification challenge


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EGullet seafood specialists!

One of the great, underused resources of Shanghai is the Tongchuan Wholesale Fish Market. It's a twenty minute cab ride north of town. It is more wholesale than retail, but there are plenty of average people out buying their seafood from a hundred or more different stalls. . Prices are cheap, selection is fantastic, and the best part is the restaurant street adjacent to the market, where you can take your purchases and have them cook them for you - they'll give you your suggestions for the cooking of each different fish, shellfish, or 'other'. Or you can bring your own butter, like we did on our last trip, ask them to melt it, and devour crabs and beer until you can't move. We try to do it monthly, and this time I brought my camera to help answer all of my "what the. . . " questions. I'm posting these photos in the hopes that our resident specialists can identify alot of these fish and "others" that I'm not familiar with. I'd really appreciate it if you can provide the english and/or mandarin chinese name, also, in pinyin or hanzi. The fish in the photos are numbered for reference, and there are also a couple of shots of the market in action. . Good luck!

























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I'd really appreciate it if you can provide the english and/or mandarin chinese name, also, in pinyin or hanzi. The fish in the photos are numbered for reference, and there are also a couple of shots of the market in action. . Good luck!

I can't really provide the chinese name for these fish but I will try my best with English. :smile:

#3 – Coral Trout aka blue spot trout

#4 – Garfish

#5 – Belt Fish

#6 – Jellyfish

#8 – Silver Bream aka porgy or black bream

#9 – Baby Octopus

#11 – Snails aka periwinkles

#12 – Razor Clams

#14 – Butterfish

#15 – Red Snapper (based on the shape of the head)

#17 – Clams

#18 – Whiting

#20 – Bonito

Hope this helps!

Edited by XiaoLing (log)
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I think 21 is known as milkfish. It has a really soft texture. It's delicious fried and it's also used in soup.

The razor clams are usually known as bamboo clams here. I'm curious about #2 - I saw them in tanks in Korea - they fill with water and swim up to the top of the tank. they look like live condoms that are inflating then deflating.

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no. 22 is So Mei in Cantonese, wrasse in English.

When live, this is perhaps the most expensive fish in a Chinese seafood restaurant's tank.

Naturally quite rare, the numbers have further declined due to overfishing and the taking of undersized juveniles, usually before they are able to reach reproductive age. :sad:

This fish is now on the WWF list of threatened species, and is the target of a WWF conservation initiative.

Here is a photo of immature Napoleon wrasse being kept in a fish tank

(Photo from the WWF site):




Edited by danjou (log)
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Some good identifications. Thanks!

But, there are a couple I suspect are wrong.

#3 - i don't think this is a trout, the body and mouth are much more like a snapper or small grouper.

#4 - growing up in florida, when i hear 'gar', i think alligator gar, and this doesn't resemble that at all. it was 30-35 cm and the mouth/bill is very different.

#7 is a john dory, not a flounder. i believe the putonghua name is something like 'horse face fish'.

#8 these were also quite small, no bigger than 35 cm.

#15 is definitely not a red snapper. the head, mouth and body are totally different.

#17 these were not like any clams i've seen before. the small white 'tail' is distinctly different, and the shape of the shell is not like a small geoduck/new england 'steamer', which is my only point of reference (with the external appendage).

#20 these are not bonito. wrong shape, size and coloration. don't what they are, though.

Any else chip in and fill in the blanks, especially numbers 2 and 13?

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