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China Food Supermarket (2): Fish

If you like fish or seafood, there are many choices from the China food supermarket. However they may not be exactly same as those from the Western countries.

Depending on the location, it maybe unlikely to see the fishes such as salmon or cod in most China food supermarket (unless it is near the coast I guess). If you find them inland, then they can be expensive. In Hunan Province, more often we have the fishes from the river or lake, such as carps or crayfish are very commonly seen in our daily eating.

Another difference is that you may hardly find fish fillet, because in China most fishes are sold with bones, and we cook fish with bones too. You can see the red cooked whole carp recipe here. 

There are different types of fishes available from the local food supermarket, either dried (preserved), fresh or frozen ones.

China Food Supermarket Dried Fishes.

For example, these are different types of dried fishes. I don’t know their names. In order to preserve well, these fishes are usually processed with salt, so usually need to soak before cooking.

China Food Supermarket Dried Fishes.

In Hunan Province, my local place, these dried fishes are usually fried with very hot chilies, so taste salty and spicy, typical as most Hunan dishes.

China Food Supermarket Dried Fishes.

The dried shrimps are usually used as the ingredient for soup or other veggie dishes.

China Food Supermarket Dried Shrimps.

Here are also some dried sea vegetables, such as seaweed and kelp, which are popular to make soup. Check this post to see Chinese homemade soups, including seaweed with tofu and my favorite meatball kelp soup. 

China Food Supermarket Dried Sea Veges.

Back to the early days, people need to buy food at the fresh food market everyday. But nowadays, China food supermarket has almost everything, including the fresh fishes.

China Food Supermarket Fresh Fishes.

There are also plenty choices for the frozen fishes and seafood.

China Food Supermarket Frozen Fishes.
China Food Supermarket Frozen Octopus.

Here you may see more choices than the small local markets, such as the fresh eels. They may look bit scary though, like snacks. Hunan locals love to make eel dishes, either fry or make soup. Very tasty. You may see how Hunan locals make their farmhouse style tasty eels (with video).

China Hunan local food supermarket, fresh eels.

These are called Bullfrog. Don't be scared by their looks, they can make really tasty dishes. The meat mainly comes from the legs. I still remember that my parents used to cook the frogs much smaller than these in home. The texture of the meat was surprisingly delicate and tender. In home these are normally red cooked, but some restaurants may cook them with hot pot.

China Food Supermarket Bullfrog.

Here is something even surprises me too. I am not sure the English name for it, but according to the Wiki website, it is called softshell turtle.

China Food Supermarket Softshell Turtle

How do we eat it? Well, I remember when I was little, my mum bought one like this once. She first cut the neck and took the fresh blood for my father to drink, since it is said its blood is very nutritious. (ehh, sorry, this sounds so bit cruel now and myself would never be able to do that).

The rest parts, including the shell, were used to make a soup after long hours slowing cooking. Anyway, that was my only memory on this. It is valuable for its medical function and you can buy its shell from most local Chinese medicine/herb shops.

I hope you like this page for fish and seafood from China Food Supermarket. Please feel free share with others.

You may also check my other posts for China Food Supermarket (1) Meat, and more for Chinese daily food such as Chinese breakfast, and Chinese Festival food.

(Posted:14/07/13; Update: 24/11/16)

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