Tuesday 26 October 2010

Billingsgate Market.

My Mrs. thought that I was loosing the plot when I told her that I was going with Dobbie to Billingsgate Market at 4 o clock this morning, and then thought that I had completely cracked up when I told her that we were riding there!
So long johns on and off we set. From Wandsworth, it is a 12 mile journey according to Google Earth, and thats just there! So with a few detours (orienteering not my strong point) and a search for a good cafe, it was about a 25 mile round trip! By bike!At 4 am!
What a trip, London is such a cool place in the early hours of the morning, Riding down Fleet street, in the middle of the road, without a car in sight!
It only took about an hour, so we arrived at 5, and the Market was in full swing, traders and buyers hustling for the best deal, there were fish from all around the World, that me or Dobbie had never seen before! Your not allowed to take pictures in the market for some stupid reason, but I managed to take a few 'cheekies' without getting caught!
Great bargains can be found down there, a whole Salmon (farmed, but cleaned) can be bought for £12, one of the same size would be found in a high street fish mongers for about £25+ ! And 18 small seabass, ideal size for 1 per person, cooked whole, sold for £25, that's about £1.40 a portion, in a fish mongers the same sized fish would sell for about £3!
I found some great buys, 1kg of Shetland mussels for £2! 1 Kg of Skate 'nobs', a really meaty 'nob' of fish, trimmed off of the skate wing, I have only seen this cut once before, but it is really cool, this part of the Skate is usually thrown away! But, it is great, I could see it on a pub menu blackboard, 'Deep fried Skate Nobs'! I am sure that this cut will hit off soon, thy were £5 a kilo, me and Dobbie split a kilo.
But my star buy, was a kilo of Wakame, or Kelp (or a type of seaweed regularly used in Japanese cuisine), it was fresh and it is very rare to find fresh Wakame in London, I have never seen it before in fact! I have had a dish at the back of my mind for a few weeks, which revolves around curing a meaty white fish, such as Halibut or Turbot, in seaweed (ideally Wakame) with salt and sugar and serving the fish thinly sliced so that the it has a thin layer of green around its rim, with the umami qualities of the seaweed adding to its flavour. The Wakame had been lightly salted so as to lengthen its shelf life, should keep for a month or so. I was surprised that there wasn't more seaweed down there to be honest, it is full of greatness, low fat, high in vitamins, its a real 'super food', I am sure that we will all be eating loads more of it in the future, I remember that everybody used to turn their noses up at the thought of eating Spinach a few years back, but now it is everywhere!
Anyway, back to our trip, we had a good look around, took a few sneaky pics, then cycled back, still in the dark, home, via a cafe, where we had a 7.30am Fry up!

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