Today in Tokyo we went to Tsukiji Fish Market. It was crazy and cool to see.
We met a really nice and smart chef named Andy, who is British, at the Tsukiji (pronounced Su-Key-Gee) Fish Market. He has been going there for 30 years every single day to buy fish and we got to watch him look at the fish and buy ingredients for his restaurant.
He told us a lot of really interesting information while we walked through the famous fish market. Here are some of the cool facts:
- They pre-auction fish at 2:00 in the morning, which means they sell it to brokers, who sell it to the people who own the restaurants. My grandma would be a great fish broker, because she wakes up really early in the morning. I did not know what a broker was, so if you don’t either, here is what it is. A broker is a person who makes the deals between the fish seller and the restaurant owners.
- There are 1,200 brokers at the fish market.
- There are 147,000 restaurants in Tokyo .
- Tsukiji is the biggest fish market in the world, not by size, but by how many fish they sell everyday, excepts for Sundays, because they are closed. They are also closed 2 Wednesday every month.
- There are 4,500 people who work at the market.
- There is also a fruit and vegetable market near the fish market. The vegetables are priced by how rare they are and how frequently they can get them and it is set for all of that kind of vegetable for that day.
- Every single fish, every day is sold.
- If the eyes of the fish look cloudy, it means the fish has been out of the water for 20 hours or more. You can also look at their gills to see how fresh the fish is. Andy showed us a bunch.
- Everything is bought by weight in kilograms.
- Andy told us the way you can tell if an octopus is alive is that when you slap the tentacle, it moves…yucky. And the tentacle isn’t actually attached to the body anymore for some of the ones we looked at, but it still moved and slimed around when Andy slapped it.
- Some people have fish farms where they raise fish. Andy told us that most people in California eat farm fish, which isn’t as good for you since the fish don’t swim and eat in the wild. He only buys fresh fish from the ocean.
- Andy told us the most important thing is where the fish is from. I did not know that, I would have thought the most important thing is the smell, but that is not true, because fresh fish does not smell.
Before I went to the market, I thought it was going to smell disgustingly fishy, but there was surprisingly no fishy smell. Isn’t that hard to believe? Going to explore the fish market made me really happy, because all the fish were so beautiful and it was fun to see how passionate Andy was about the fish market and everything he was buying for his restaurant.
That night, we ate at Andy’s restaurant, which serves mostly sashimi and fish and everything was tasty and delicious. Maybe it tasted so good, because I got to see where it came from. It was a really special and interesting day. Thanks Chef Andy!