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Fish at Chinese Grocery Store?


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Markets & Stores 49

Fish at Chinese Grocery Store?

kleine mocha | Feb 25, 2010 06:30 AM

I am lucky to live in an ethnically diverse neighborhood in the East Bay (California). Within 10 miles of my house are Mexican butchers, bakers, and grocery stores, as well as Middle Eastern, Portuguese, and Chinese (sometimes sort of Pan-Asian) groceries. There is a gigantic Indian spice retailer nearby, as well.

I ran into one of the Chinese+multiple Southeast Asian stores yesterday to pick up some red Thai curry paste and again was struck by the amazing quantity and variety of fresh, frozen, and some still-swimming-around-in-tanks fish. However, apart from a couple (salmon, mackerel), I didn't recognize the names of many of the fish. Don't get me wrong, they were using English names (sometimes in addition to names printed in characters from other languages), but I had simply never heard of the specific kind of fish. I know I could ask each time, but previous experience tells me no one really speaks English there (my attempt at finding galangal was pretty funny but ultimately fruitless).

So, is anyone aware of a resource (such as a website) that might talk about what fish are commonly used in China/SE Asia, how they are prepared, etc.? Google did not return useful results for me, though I will also check out Wikipedia next.

(Even though I am in the East Bay, and both Oakland and San Francisco have large Chinatowns, I posted this here because I know there are many other areas, including Vancouver and New York, that have plenty of Chinese/Asian stores.)

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