Buying a Catfish @ 88 Super Market – San Leandro

A few weeks ago, the San Leandro Patch had a little “story” about the 88 market on East 14th St. I’d been to the store once or twice before, in search of rare Asian ingredients, but it’s not a place I’d normally hit. However, the Patch article mentioned that the 88 market has become a seafood emporium in the last few years, offering 150 varieties of fish, so when I needed some catfish earlier this week (to make Catfish a la Meuniere which was, btw, amazing), and Safeway was selling it at $9 lb (really? who are they kidding?), I thought we should give 88 market a try.
Fortunately or unfortunately I sent Mike to do the shopping. He was very impressed with the freshness of the fish. Indeed, it was alive and swimming in a tank until Mike ordered it, heard a big thump and a lot of flopping around. He didn’t watch, and he was happy the kids didn’t go along. He asked for the catfish to be filleted but again, declined to look at the process. What can we say? He’s squeamish.
So he was not prepared, after he came home, for me to scream at him from the kitchen to come see what he bought: a bag of fish parts (head, tail, fins, whatever) with two very uneven, not fully descaled, bone-in fillets that would feed one person (if I chose to cook them, which I did not). Moral of the story? Go to 88 market for very fresh, full fish – but if you want your fish neatly processed, go elsewhere.
I will try this place again, however, when I need some type of rare fish you can’t find at the supermarket – and I have time to learn how to fillet fish myself 🙂
88 Supermarket
14405 E 14th St
San Leandro, CA
(510) 351-8200

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