This Writing Life: Something Fishy

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Last weekend we packed ourselves up for a trek into the city, with no real destination in mind other than a camera shop for a replacement lens cap (I lost the other one while tromping around Sculpture by the Sea) and somewhere indulgent and scenic for lunch.

Knowing we’d be lunching (oh, I SO love to lunch!) put the idea of food into my brain which then, somehow via a couple of tripped synapses and mental misfires, morphed into I WANNA GO TO THE FISH MARKETS!

The reaction from my other half to this enthusiastic announcement was decidedly nonplussed.

Hmph.

Seemed a perfectly normal thing to do in my opinion. I’d never been to the Sydney Fish Market and have heard marvellous things, and being a huge seafood lover this was an omission in my culinary life that clearly needed filling. And, well, fresh fishies and prawns and squiddlies and things. What’s not to enjoy?

Naturally the light rail was out of action and we had to wait for a bus at Central along with a bazillion other people. Which was stupid, because if we’d bothered to check Google Maps we would have seen that it was a fairly short walk and hoofed it, but no… Anyway, we got there in the end.

And I had a BALL!

Jim was underwhelmed but I was in fishy heaven. The variety was amazing and everything looked so fresh and lovely, and very, very edible.

So I thought I’d share a few piccies of this most excellent of foodie adventures. Enjoy!

The entrance to the Sydney Fish Market. It was rocking!

The entrance to the Sydney Fish Market. It was rocking!

A fresh fish display.

A fresh fish display.

Beautiful live pipis.

Beautiful live pipis. I wish we could get them like that where I live. I’d scoff myself silly.

Live abalone and eels

Live abalone and eels. We ate abalone as kids, sliced thin and flash fried on the BBQ. Lovely stuff.

Cooked yabbies.

Cooked yabbies. I almost wept when I saw these. Love yabbies! They had live ones too.

Crab and Morton Bay Bug display

It’s a crabfest! Blue Swimmers, Spanner crabs and Morton Bay Bugs.

Flute Mouth Fish.

Flute Mouth Fish. I didn’t even know these things existed.

These Pacific oysters were the size of my hand.

These Pacific oysters were the size of my hand. Enormous things. Oysters are one of the few seafoods I don’t eat. Can’t stand them. As my other half so charmingly puts it – they’re like eating bullock snot. Ah, those country Queensland boys have the best turns of phrase, don’t they?

Live mud crabs.

Live mud crabs. I’m thinking: chilli and lemongrass and lime and mmmmmmmm

Live vongole.

Live vongole. By this point in our adventure, I’m about to pass out with want. So much goodness, so far from home and no bloody cooler bag.

Gorgeous looking octopi.

Gorgeous looking octopi. I could do yum things with those babies.

Mulloway - one of my favourite fish.

Mulloway – one of my favourite fish. Perfect for baking whole, and what Callie goes fishing for at MacLeans Bay in my rural romance Heartland.

Oyster shucking.

Oyster shucking. This man was incredibly skilled and fast.

Periwinkles!

Periwinkles! I used to collect the the little covering shells growing up. I wonder what they taste like?

Prawn heaven.

Prawn ‘n scallop ‘n mussel  heaven.

Razor clams from Scotland and scampi from New Zealand.

Razor clams from Scotland and scampi from New Zealand. I’ve wanted to try razor clams ever since I heard about them on chef Nick Nairn’s Wild Harvest TV show back in the 90s. They pop out of the sand like meerkats, except not as cute. I bet they’re delicious too, unlike I reckon a meerkat would taste like. As for the scampi… drool.

There were plenty of ready-to-eat meals too.

There were plenty of ready-to-eat meals too. Lots of people come here to eat it seems.

A stand selling scallop gratinee.

A stand selling scallop gratinee.

Sea cucumber.

Sea cucumber. I know these are a delicacy for some people, and I’m normally game to have a go at new foods but… nup. They look like horse penises!

Shellfish display.

Shellfish display. Look at that king crab! Which reminds me of an excellent king crab risotto I once ate at a restaurant in Melbourne and wouldn’t mind having a go at making myself. Maybe one day.

Squid and fresh fillet display

There were lots of kinds of squid and fish fillets to choose from.

Turbot.

Turbot and coral trout. Both lovely fish.

Whelks?

Whelks? I wasn’t sure of the proper name for these.

Cheese deli with Stinking Bishop cheese!

Cheese deli with Stinking Bishop cheese! I must try that one. The deli section was a very pleasant surprise. I had no idea it was there and it was excellent.

More cheesey goodness. Some of the harder cheeses.

More cheesey goodness. Some of the harder cheeses.

Blue cheeses in the deli

What a range of blue cheeses!

One of the deli shelves.

One of the deli shelves. There was so much stuff I wanted to buy.

Fresh fruit and veg stall.

And if all the above wasn’t enough, there was a fresh fruit and veg stall too. And an excellent looking bread shop but I forgot to take a piccie of that.

Pelican looking for a feed.

I bet this chappie is well fed. In fact, it looks like all the birds at the Fish Market are.

What a revelation the fish markets were. Not only was there seafood up the wazoo, there was an amazing deli, a bakery and a well-stocked fruit and veg stall. I think I’m going to have to set aside a day where I pack a cooler full of ice bricks and just do a rush trip into the market (well, as rush as the bus, train and light rail will allow), then come home and cook myself silly.

I hope you enjoyed this bit of indulgent fun. Did anything catch your eye? Anything you’d never eaten before and like to try?

 

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4 thoughts on “This Writing Life: Something Fishy

  1. AvatarSue Gerhardt Griffiths

    Fantastic pics, Cathryn! So much fun looking at them. I’m going to show Steven so he can take me there and I’m most sure he’ll want to go because he loves seafood as much as I do. We’ll be taking our huge esky.

    You’re too funny, Cathryn, I laughed myself silly when I read “horse penises,” but it aint gonna stop me from trying them. Lol. I’ll try anything and I mean anything at least once. And you can tell Jim, I adore bullock snot. LOL.

    Really gobsmacked over the amount of seafood that’s available. Thanks for always posting amazing pics of your adventures!

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Oh, you’ll have a wonderful time, Sue. And go home with LOTS of goodies. If you’re a seafood lover it’s like heaven. And the deli and other stores there are fantastic too.

      You’ll have to let me know what the sea cucumber/horse penis tastes like when you try it. I’m seriously impressed at your sense of culinary adventure!

  2. AvatarSandy Curtis

    Cathryn, we get spanner crabs here and they are not only delicious but much easier to crack and get the flesh from than muddies and sand crabs. And a lot cheaper. I didn’t see any in your great pics but maybe they’re a Queensland thing. Fabulous variety at the fish market, no wonder you had such a great time.

    1. Cathryn HeinCathryn Hein Post author

      Lovely of you to drop by, Sandy!
      There were definitely spanner crabs there because I salivated over them. Tasty things and as you say, much cheaper and easier to deal with. I adore blue swimmer crabs but they are so painful and I end up wondering if they’re worth the effort.
      You’re very lucky in Qld with your gorgeous seafood. When we visit Jim’s parents up north we have a great time raiding the fish co-ops.

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