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My first fish eye

July 29th, 2003 · 1 Comment

Yesterday I happened to be on the Seattle side of the Sound, so I decided I should stop by one of the large Asian grocery stores. When we lived in Cupertino, California, we were spolied by the three large Chinese grocery stores within walking distance of our home! I still remember the first time we walked through Marina Foods, amazed: the tanks of crabs and fish swimming, rows of roast pork and ducks hanging, aisles of teas, tofu, takeout, more than we could imagine. Like a Chinatown. We walked with wide-eyes, as if dreaming, after years of living in Rhode Island, making do with a small Korean shop, the size of Marina’s meat department. And then we moved here, where we are grateful once a year or so to take a trip to Uwajimaya , to stock up on supplies.

I brought our small cooler with me, and even though it was a 90-degree day, I bought a fish, a mackerel of some sort, I think. I had talked with Ted about giving the girls the treat of eating a whole fish, head, tail and all. He and his brother grew up eating steamed whole fishes as a family, Chinese-style, nibbling fins and tail, fighting over who would eat the eyes. Ted and I have had whole fish but it had been a while, at least a few years, and we wanted to let our girls try one too.

Fish survived seven hours in the cooler, carving out a curve in the ice chips. Next time I will try to pack it better. Tonight I tried to cook it, one of the first times I have cooked a whole fish. And I discovered that this was a whole fish indeed, entrails and all. So first I learned how to clean a fish. Then I curled it up inside a Pyrex bowl but perhaps, Ted suggested, next time I should try a plate, so I can flip the fish from side to side.

After steaming the fish with garlic, ginger and scallions, we sat down for dinner. Here is our conversation we had:

Abigail: Who’s going to eat the fish eyes? Can I try one? Is it yummy?

Michaela: Can I have one? I love eyes.

Abigail eats hers: Yum. I want to have another.

Then she coaches her little sister:

Abigail: Spit it out. Good.

Me: How did you like your fish eye, Michaela?

Michaela: Good.

The girls then proceed to devour most of the fish.

Michaela: Please can I have some?

Ted: You’re impossible.

Michaela: I love this fish!

Michaela: Can we buy more fish?

Abigail: Could we buy five fish? No, could we buy six fish? For my sixth birthday?

Ted: You are fish animals! You are eating all the fish. All I got was this fish head.

Looks like next time I stop at Uwajimaya, I’ll be buying at least two fish – maybe three – so we can each have an eye…..

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Ted Leung on the air // Aug 1, 2003 at 12:41 am

    Another blogger in the house

    A few months ago, Julie, my wife started asking me about getting her own blog. I thought this was a cool idea, but I didn’t think that pyblosxom was a great fit for her. My setup is basically cobbled together because I’m hacking on pyblosxom and blog