Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A Brooklyn Chinese Market

Brooklyn has always been a borough where many new immigrants to the United States first settle. Avenue U in the Homecrest section of Brooklyn has been home for many years to a large Italian population. The last decade saw a large influx of people from Asia, especially China, as well as Israel, Syria, Russia, and other former Eastern-block nations.

I love the diversity of Brooklyn as it enables me to shop and eat in incredible ethnic markets and restaurants.  I've blogged about wonderful Italian bakeries here and here and also Italian specialty markets on this link and also here.  Today I'd like to show you some photos I took this past summer of a wonderful Chinese Market located between 12th and 13th streets on Ave U called Sea Bay Seafood and Meat Market.

As in many local  Brooklyn neighborhood markets, the fruits are displayed outside the store in bins.  I found the store sign above them interesting.

Inside is an incredible array of every type of fresh, frozen and dried fish that you can imagine, at very competitive prices. I shop at this store for much of my seafood and have never been disappointed by the quality or price.

Some of the dried seafood selection in the photo above.  I haven't yet ventured into trying any of it, but I do find it fascinating to look at!

As the name of the store indicates there is also a well stocked meat market with butcher service. This is another fascinating part of the store as I've seen whole suckling pigs, complete chickens. many types of game and fowl, and all sorts of exotic eggs for sale.

The large store is also well stocked with every imaginable jarred and canned Asian variety of sauces, spices condiments, noodles, wrappers, buns and dim sum, candies, cookies, teas, and household items.

The large fresh vegetable section of the store has a fabulous array of hard to find vegetables favored in Chinese cuisine, such as bok choy, daikon radish, choy sum, lotus root, tarro root, bitter melon, as well as more easily found ginger root, nappa cabbage, bean sprouts,  celery, garlic, carrots, broccoli, mushrooms, etc.  I find it hard not to buy too many items here, as I love fresh vegetables and they all look very tempting.

Do you have a favorite Chinese/ Asian recipe? I'd love to know what you would want to buy in this market.


I'm linking up with Susan at A Southern Daydreamer blog for her wonderful "Outdoor Wednesday" event and also Jenny of the Jenny Matlock blog for her Alphabe Thursday event ..the letter this week is "C"  Thank you ladies!  Please visit both blogs on their respective days to see links to other blogs participating in both events.





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71 comments:

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

This looks soooo cool

It would take someone holding my hand to help me choose the food THEN help me cook it.

So great that you are adventursome!

Claudia

Ebie said...

This is my kind of store. I love Asian markets. If you would ask me, what I would pick, it would be the bitter melon.

If you cook the dried fish, especially the anchovies type, be prepared because it has a overwhelming smell.

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

This market is awesome--I have to visit Brooklyn!!! We don't have anything like that here.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Like I say every time I comment on one of your blogs, you surely do live in an interesting part of our country. You get so many advantages that most of us don't have. Like I've said, I'm envious. That Chinese Market looks incredible. WOW!!
Hugs,
Betsy

vignette design said...

I love this post. It is so interesting to see something urban for a change. I love Asian food and enjoy their markets too. We have Chinatown in San Francisco. I'm always interested in the chicken feet! I would probably buy some veggies.....--Delores

M.Kate said...

Hi ya Pat, it looks very much like our local ones. As you can guess, Asians love lots of dried stuff, esp herbs. My mom has all sort of dried herbs for tea and soup..at times, we have no idea what we are drinking except they tasted good :) Have a great weekend Pat...hugs/M

Lily Hydrangea said...

that is an amazing selection of food.
it must be fun shopping there. I'm not much of a cook but I do enjoy fresh veggies so I think I might be adventurous & try something I've never seen before.

Light and Voices said...

Kewelopolis!
Joyce M

Laura Neulat said...

With the chinese New Year coming up Feb 13 I am thinking of Chinese recipes indeed! I lived in Asia (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong) for 6 years and every year I invite frineds for a Chinese Banquit! I likve to present about 20 dishes, just like in the chinese Banquits, so I cater about half of what I serve ... I make some myslef! I love the way they prepare fish in Taiwan, steamed and served with a soya light sauce.

Riet said...

Hi Pat, this looks a bit like Rotterdam and Amsterdam among other places. We have asian markets, Turkish and Maroccan markets, Chinese, Suriname , you name it and we have it as we have so many foreigners in our country. I love them all. Thank you for showing us your world.

Melanie said...

What great shops. I love Chinese food and experiment a lot trying to make the home made taste like restaurant dishes.

My fvourite has to be the big chop suey rolls. Most places up here only do the tiny Spring Rolls though. I love the texture of beansprouts.

Have you tried aki and saltfish?

Tracy said...

Diversity... love that... And I just adore Asian markets--you can find anything and everything! This market you frequent is amazing... all the seafood...mmm... The dried fish are fun to experiment with. In our small town we have a tiny little orient grocery run by a Thai lady and her husband and the shop is packed with all sorts. I love to go there. And they sometimes even have tofu! ;o) Thanks for the fun today, Pat ((HUGS))

Theresa Milstein said...

Your post is making me miss NYC. I lived there until age nine, and then I lived on Long Island until I got married. My first two years of marriage, I lived in Forest Hills, Queens. Those markets were my favorite part of living there (Roaches, not so much).

When we had to move, I chose Cambridge, MA because some things reminded me of living in Queens, but there are no markets here.

Thanks for the great photos. I may just come back from time to time when I long for NYC.

Marilyn said...

We had friends (long since passed away) who lived in Brooklyn & I was always amazed at what was available there. These markets are amazing!
Love,
Marilyn
xxoo

Jojo said...

While I haven't been to visit Brooklyn, I did have a fun experience in the Chinatown in NY.

My girlfriend lives in Port Chester and while I was visiting we went to Chinatown. There were several "coffee shops" with all men inside and I kept telling my girlfriend that it made me want to go in and order something and just sit with the men to see what would happen. We didn't but I wanted to!

I also loved in the park area seeing many elderly practicing what I assumed was tai chi. Out of respect I didn't take photos but I wanted to.

It is so wonderful to be able to enjoy cultural "cities" within a city.

Old Kitty said...

Hi

Look at those HUGE vegetables! What amazing shops, HUGE vegetables!

The easiest chinese type recipe I know to do with confidence is cooking noodles and adding tons of sweet chilli sauce! Plus tofu.

:-)

Wonderful pics, really makes me want to catch a plane and go shopping there!

Lovely!

Take care

x

Jenny said...

I was so excited to see your post about this, Pat! I love that Market. When I used to do a lot of business in New York that was one of my favorite places to go! How totally neat! I love this post! Thank you!

McLinkey will be up tonight if you want to link!

Oliag said...

What I would give to have a market like this in my neighborhood!...The diversity of Brooklyn is what I loved about it when my daughter lived there...I miss it so!

Sea Witch said...

And this posting alone is why I miss the energy and the food of NYC! Your photos say it all. Sea Witch

Sara said...

Reminds me of the big Chinese market we had in Tampa. It was about a block from my work so somedays I would just go over to look around on my lunch hour. I bought several tea pots and dishes there.

If it had medicinal items I would buy some mugwort sticks...they relieve pain...

Lucy said...

I want to just jump into those photos and see Brooklyn and all of NYC. So interesting.

Lucy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Queenmothermamaw said...

Hello Pat, I was hoping you would visit my NY post. I spent more time in Kingston, Poughkepsee , Hyde Park and Fish Kill then in the city. Really did like it up there. I enjoyed your tour of the Asian markets today. I would try any of the vegetables. I love any of them.
Great post.
QMM

Claudia said...

Oh how I miss NYC now and all the markets. The Asian vegetables are outstanding. The markets are hopping and beautiful. I shall retreat and lick my wounds that I am no longer there.

Vee said...

While I do enjoy looking, I am not a fan of Asian cooking at all. I don't even like rice. It's pathetic really. Thanks for the tour.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Thanks for the tour of your Chinese market! I really enjoy Chinese cooking...though I prefer to have someone else cook it for me.

We like to stroll through Chinatown when we visit Vancouver...but never managed to get there this time.

Ms. Bake-it said...

I would love to have so many ethnic stores in one area. We have some but they are spread all over the place. As someone who loves to cook, I would be in 7th heaven! I love trying new recipes and foods.

Thank you for the tour of the Asian market, it looks great.

~ Tracy

black eyed susans kitchen said...

We have an Asian market here as well, and I love to shop there. It is part familiar and part adventure for me. We always pick up the basics...chop sticks, soy sauce, several varieties of noodles, maybe some bok choy or other veggies. Sometimes some green tea ice cream. The buns in the bakery always enticed my kids, and at Christmas time I usually slip some exotic candy from the market into their stockings. One of the favorite recipes would be cold sesame noodles. Pat, your pictures are just magazine worthy...beautiful!
♥, Susan

Jeanne said...

Hi Pat, this market is awesome. I would go crazy in a store like this. The fresh fish appeals to me but the veggies are my fave. I like to make stir fry with chicken strips and tons of veggies over rice. I actually do not have a recipe. I do have a stir fry pan that is awesome. I buy the sauce. The easy way out. I am not familiar with a lot of those items. I would though if I could shop at a store like this. The colors are so vibrant including the signs. I love your post today. What's new. BIG smile.

Hugs, Jeanne

Joyce said...

I love the collage with the fish in the middle. I miss being able to basically walk to the markets like in the NE. I go to a veggie and fruit market here and also a Korean indoor market with my Korean SIL that is amazing. I am now going to be craving Chinese food all night:) I need to check out the site for the letters each week as that sounds like a fun to participate in the alphabet.
Joyce

Cynthia said...

I'm always checking out these kinds of shops and markets when I travel, there is so much to learn and I love that moment when you spy something that you've heard other bloggers talk about :)

merrilymarylee said...

That's a whole different world! I'd be at a loss to know what to buy.

Years ago I went to a market in China. The fruits and veggies were interesting, but the weird fish and the hanging chickens were... yech! I do better with the meats behind a butcher case. This ones looks perfect!

What do YOU buy?

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

A cooking class would be a lot of fun... I know the basics~ but will try just about anything
(ummm~ just about)

PEA said...

Now I'm hungry!!! We are a very multi cultural community where I live as well and as you say, it gives us such a great opportunity to try out different foods and flavours. I love stir fries so I would get all kinds of veggies and maybe add some chicken or shrimp to it:-) xoxo

Lorrie said...

What a wonderful market this is Pat. Not too very long ago this type of market wouldn't have been possible in the US, but refrigeration and air transportation for perishables have really changed things. We can experience so many exotic foods right here at home.

nanny said...

I would just love to walk and browse and walk and browse......did you buy anything?

Helena said...

These are great photos! That looks like an awesome market to shop at. We don't have anything like that where I live.

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

Wonderful photography. Thank you for the market tour. I found it very interesting.

Annesphamily said...

Pat, this was too cool. I loved looking at the market, It was such a fun adventure, Thank you.

Marsha's Mpressions said...

How interesting to see how others live. Reminds me of China town in SanFrancisco. I was in awe!!

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

Interesting! My husband was born in Brooklyn, moved to Long Island when he was 12. He took me there two years ago, we ate at Nathan's, Coney Island!

Katherine

Viki said...

Wow, that looks like a really neat store. I'm not much for Chinese food but it all looks very interesting. It would be fun to just go look in the store.

GardenofDaisies said...

What a fantastic little market!
What are those long green veggies that look like a cucumber with ridges?

jaydubblah said...

I would end up buying more than I knew what to do with! Not sure where there is anywhere like this in UK

My name is PJ. said...

I love NYC and I love Chinese food. This was great! Wonderful photos.

mbkatc230 said...

This looks like a fantastic market Pat. There is nothing like this here that's for sure. Everything is so colorful and fresh! I'm not sure about the dried fish either, but it makes an interesting photo lol. Hope you are having a great week. Kathy

Coralie Cederna Johnson said...

What an interesting post...the photos are awesome! Thanks for sharing! Pop on over and visit me when you have a chance! Happy Alphabet Day!

Jo said...

I just can't express the wonderful feeling your blog gives me each time I visit with you in Brooklyn or Manhatten..so glad to get to blog with you, it helps me travel there each time...I love NYC!..I love these pictures, while in NYC I love to go to these markets,sooo much FUN!

Maggie B said...

What a wonderful store, I so enjoyed our shopping spree together, I could spend the whole afternoon here!
~Maggie~

Julie Schuler said...

Wow! How gorgeous. I wish I could make paintings of that market.

Shelia said...

Morning, Pat! Oh, this looks so wonderful! I've never visited a place like this and would love to so much!
Be a sweetie,
Sheila;)

Sarah said...

What a cool market! I've not been to this one, but you can bet it's on my list for my next visit to NY. Thanks for sharing! Such fun to see all this fresh produce and fish.

lissa said...

it's a shame that I can't cook or else this would be a place I would like to go

RNSANE said...

Pat, my neighborhood in Daly City is main Filipino and my closet grocery is Manila Market. I love it because they have all sorts of Asian food which I love, especially the freshest of vegetables, all kinds of choys, freesh fish, interesting fruits, fifty different kinds of noodles,etc. Of course, we have so many different Asian ethnicities in the San Francisco area.

Catherine said...

That was a very cool C word, thanks for adding a bit of culture to my day! I'm visiting from Jenny Matlock's Alphabe-Thursday.
Blessings,
Catherine

mrs. c said...

Love your photos! Don't you love to walk around places and take pictures....me too! I would love to have the opportunity to shop for all these soooo cooool items! I remember the first time I went to NYC and I had to go to Dean and Deluca and the first thing that came out of my "Tennessee twang mouth was...look at all that cheese" when I saw all the local cheeses. I am sure the guy looked around to make sure I had shoes on haha!

Amanda said...

Love all your beautiful pictures and descriptions. I live in Seattle's China Town, International District, so I totally relate to your post. I love all the amazing color and the yummy aromas from the restaurants, the assortment of meats and vegetables. Feels like home!

Donna said...

Oh look at all that wonderful fresh food!! I love markets like these. My daughter lives in Brooklyn and when we visit her we get a chance go and see all these grand places. Thanks Pat!

Hugs,
Donna

laterg8r said...

very cool pics :D

Tara said...

Wow, Pat, don't your posts looks great with the BIG pics! Isn't it great to be able to shop like this all the time? Hope you enjoyed Restaurant week..love the Tearoom!

:0)
Tara

Amy said...

I must visit your fair city some day! The food alone is enough to compell me. Great post!

Brenda said...

My goodness thanks for sharing. Love your photos they really show us what it looks like. I love Chinese but have not really tried cooking it. I prefer to go out and have it delivered to my table. I am a cook don't get me wrong but the Chinese recipe book I finally passed down to one of my daughters just had so many ingredients for everything that I could not ever find them all! Brooklyn Chinese Market would certainly filled the list!

Jo said...

i love cruising chinese, so many totally interesting items ... just wish i knew how to use some of them

Trotter said...

Hi Pat! Lovely post with great shots of the market!!
They speak at the first shop!!

Blogtrotter 2 is cruising with the Liberty of the Seas. Hope you enjoy it and have a great weekend!!

Kathleen said...

Wow, you have everything there! (exc WSonoma outlet!).
That is amazing!
We have ONE store Waldbaums..so no selection what so ever!
I do miss having a variety of places to shop! That's why I have to go to Riverhead..a few different places there!
Very interesting, Pat..I love being able to read the prices too!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

One of the millions of reasons I love NYC! Pat, I would be in heaven because I love oriental food. My happiest moment visiting NYC was going to Chinatown, and eating a Chinese dumpling that was so good it made your eyes roll into the back of your head!

Thanks for sharing. Have been missing you. I am taking a little break to blog for a couple of days, I hope. Lots and lots going on, and I'm pretty tired... and miss my bloggy friends much.

Thanks for sharing this with us! I enjoyed my visit!

XO,

Sheila :-)

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

How wonderful to have access to all of these interesting and wonderful treats. Your photos are great. I could feel the atmosphere. laurie

easternsparkle said...

What a great post - fantastic photography as well, colours are great!

Grace said...

I used to go to this diet place on Avenue U by 21st Street. Great pictures. Grace

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

I love finding food markets like this! I tend to spend a loonnggg time checking everything out...it's fascinating to me. We are so lucky to have so many ethnic communities in our neck of the world. I just got into a long discussion about Arthur Avenue at work and now I'm seriously thinking about taking a day off from work to go on a shopping trip. :-)

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Truly Pat - You do need to get started on that book about NYC! This is a place I'd never heard about but would love to visit someday.