Thursday, September 06, 2007

Cheap Seafood

One of the great things about living in a seaside city in China is the ridiculously cheap seafood. Fish is a major staple of the diet here, although during certain times of the year I understand that it is technically all black market fish; they ban fishing during some months to preserve the fish populations.

Anyway, tonight I made seafood gumbo, a dish which in the US would have cost me a pretty penny to make. But with prices like these, it was about the same cost as eating out at a local restaurant.

  • 2 lbs (2 斤 (jin) actually, roughly 2 lbs) large shrimp- 35 RMB (approx $5)
  • 1 斤 of shucked oysters - 15 RMB (approx $2.5)
  • 2 斤 of mussels - 8 RMB (approx $1.05)
Interestingly enough, mussels are so cheap here that at a Chinese business dinner, they will not serve them to important guests as it would be a sign of disrespect for choosing something so cheap. I once picked mussels out, telling my hosts I really liked them, but the shook their heads and refused to buy them! An appetizer of mussels in the US can be one of the more expensive things on a menu!