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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 exactly the same as those from the West.

Depending on the location, it maybe unlikely to see the fishes like salmon or cod in China food supermarket. If you do find them, they must be very expensive. More often you will see fish from the river or lake, such as carps.

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.

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.
China Food Supermarket Dried Shrimps.

In Hunan, these dried fishes are usually fried with very hot chillies, so taste salty and spicy, typical as most Hunan dishes. The dried shrimps are usually used as the ingredient for soup or other dishes.

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

China Food Supermarket Dried Sea Veges.

Back to early days, people need to shop food at the fresh food market everyday. But nowadays, 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. Hunan locals love to make eel dishes, either fry or make soup. You may see how Hunan locals make their farmhouse style tasty eels (with video).

China Hunan locals love to make eel dishes.

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 resteraunts 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 soft shell 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, (ehh, sorry, this sounds bit cruel), since it is said its blood is very nutritious. 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 may find its shell from the Chinese medicine/herb shops.

You may also like to see China Food Supermarket (1) Meat, or more on Chinese daily food such as Chinese breakfast, or check Chinese Festival food.

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

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