[NYC] Where does fresh fish in Chinatown come from?

(saregama) #1

It’s very fresh, and far more affordable than markets near me.

But what is the source? Fish farms? Local-ish waters?

(Not that I have a sense of which one is better…)


Fulton fish market gets fish from all over the world. If you are wondering about a specific species I’m sure someone here can help :slight_smile:

(saregama) #3

Are you saying that the Chinatown seafood places get their fish from Fulton fish market?


It depends on the species really, but a large percent of fish goes through Fulton.

Local seafood is different. Smaller “Co ops” function as a hub and have distribution channels (they deliver seafood to NY with vans/box trucks.) So if you take blue claw as an example in the winter, those crabs are coming from local NJ and NYC area waters. They are being trucked in from local spots close to nyc. I have a few commercial fisherman friends.


Chiming in from Boston as a Korean folk…I have never trusted fish sources in Asian markets. My local Hmart does label fish as “farmed” but not much else. (I can’t stand farmed fish for many reasons.) I don’t mind paying a premium at Whole Foods, albeit I’ve got some blind faith there.

(saregama) #6

Oh thanks for mentioning H-mart - same question there…

Fish looks very fresh, and it’s certainly far less expensive than most other places.


Not sure myself… however. Years ago my SO was a professional cook, and he would only go to Aqua Best in Chinatown because that’s who the restaurant (high end fancy italian) bought a lot from wholesale.


Also from the Boston board, but I see a lot of trucks with Chinese writing dropping off seafood to the Asian markets in the Boston area, so I think most will buy from local distributors that can cater to their language needs. I don’t know if their ultimate source for fresh seafood are any different from other restaurants, but I imagine may require an extra hand-off or two unless all seafood distributors have multi-lingual staff on hand.

From personal experience, I love fish from a local fishmonger who sells great seafood and more akin to Whole Foods prices. I started cooking a lot of branzino from them. Our local Asian markets started to sell branzino about 2 years ago at nearly half the price! I’ve tried it a few times and I find no discernable difference in taste or texture between the two.