While looking for quintessentially Bengali/Bangladeshi fish dishes, alfredck went to Gulshan Market in Union City and lucked out. Owner Mohammed dropped everything to go on a fish run and brought back not just frozen hilsa steaks but also some fried rohu, cooked by his wife.
“A member of the carp family, it reminded me of buffalo (the fish, not the mammal),” says alfredck. “[It was] also bony, fatty, and rich, with tender white meat and gelatinous skin that stood up well to the crispy, spicy coating.”
The market carries a great variety of frozen Bangladeshi fish, including pabda, tengra, boal, pangas, bata, taki, and more. “If you prefer your fish as anonymous, boneless, filets, don’t bother with Gulshan,” advises alfredck. “If you are interested in a cuisine that celebrates a myriad variety of fish, with specific seasons and recipes for each kind … give it a try.”
Oddly, although Mohammed co-owns Gulistan Restaurant, just a few doors down, the restaurant doesn’t serve these fish because Mohammed’s partner “doesn’t want to deal with the fuss.” So if you want real Bengali flavor, you’ll have to get cooking tips from Mohammed, or hope his wife feels like cooking.
Gulshan Market [East Bay]
34595 Alvarado Niles Road, Union City
Gulistan Restaurant [East Bay]
34579 Alvarado Niles Road, Union City
Board Link: Gulshan Market—Bangladeshi fish in Union City