Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eating fish in Japan

We in the south of China pride ourselves in eating seafood.  But we can still learn a lot from the Japanese, who have turned fish eating into a fine art.   The Tsukiji fish market is whole sale, where the fish are laid out in big buckets on a grand scale.  It is bloody, messy, and wet. 

On the other hand, the seafood halls in the department stores lay out their fish cleanly and neatly.  There is no blood, unlike wet markets in Hong Kong, where blood is purposely smeared onto the fish to make them look fresh.  Here, they are as pretty as paintings.  To me, it is an art form closer to my heart, and stomach.    

I admire particularly the way they turn small fish into delicacies.  They are very good in cleaning, de-boning, and slicing up small fish just a few inches long, and eating them in myriad different, delicious ways.  

Outside Tsujiki fish market, we wondered about some small fins laid out to dry.  What is the point?  

Minutes later we had the answer.   They are consider good snacks to go with wine.   1,000 yen is roughly 100 HK dollars and about 12 US dollars.  It is quite a bit of money for just a few pieces of fins.  No wonder people are willing to take the time and effort to clean and dry them.

And then, at the other end of the scale, there are these huge fish eyes, each about 3 inches across. They look interesting.  But I have no desire to eat them.


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