cooking / Hong Kong / Lifestyle

Grocery Shopping

Since getting a helper, I have discovered yet another place to add to my grocery shopping list (along with the 5 or 6 supermarkets I have to frequent to get all the bits and pieces I want) – the local markets.

Let me show you where we get our fish…

It is fresh (often still alive).. although we’re a bit picky on which fish we buy. It is reasonably priced too. Obviously we use a bit of common sense – but the fish we buy from here is generally used for soups. Just to gross you out a bit more… there is a cage on the ground below Mitchell’s foot… it contains LIVE frogs. When I asked my helper what they do with them she told me ‘you choose the ones you want and they skin and gut them (like they would a fish) for you to take home and prepare’. Frog is popular here for frogs legs, to use in soups and to use in frog congee (rice porridge). I won’t be buying or trying those any time soon. To me they looked like cane toads… BLECH.

The local markets are where we tend to go for our veges, fruit, fish, tofu and a variety of dried stuff (like mushrooms or scallops) to use in the more traditional chinese cooking. However, they hold so much more than that. You can also find clothes, toys, towels, hardware…

Believe it or not, many of the vege stalls in the markets source their vegetables and fruit from the same place the big supermarket chains here do, only they sell them considerably cheaper. In the markets I can still buy my New Zealand mushrooms, Washington state apples or bananas from the Philippines. It is just a matter of asking where the produce has come from if it isn’t labelled.

I don’t buy my beef or pork or chicken from the markets. The butcher shops gross me out. When you see all parts of a cow (and bull) anatomy hanging there (both the inside and out), it can be a bit much. And chickens… well… I just can’t bring myself to choose a live one to come back 1/2 an hour later and pick it up sliced and diced…

However, I am enjoying the new found options of the market for food… oh – and the newfound ability of having such a great cook to prepare and cook for us. Our helper is amazing – she can cook traditional chinese, all the way through to Jamie Oliver! Am I spoilt or what!!!

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