All your JK recipes are prepared with best quality ingredients, especially the fish that we use so often! Few of my beloved fans who met in person recently inquired how I choose and buy fish.. There is no other place but the Central Fish Market in Peliyagoda for this purpose.. I was not prepared with my imaging equipment for this visit, so please bare with the poor quality of images
Peliyagoda Central Fish Market (PCFM) is just 30 mins away from JK headquarters ( through the Kadawatha highway). You will find this challenging, but contrary to common opinion of it being a sticky and crowded place, JK was surprised to see quite the opposite in all the three recent visits. Here are my tips of fish shopping in PCFM.
- How you find it..
Easy. Paste the following link on to your google maps.
For those who hate to use smart phones other than to take calls and send SMSs; Take the first exit of the Katunayake Expresswayt to Meegahawatta. Market is on to your left. It’s huge, you should not miss it..
2. When to go?
- Date : The market is closed on all the public holidays. Try to avoid Fridays and Mondays. I have seen very little fish on those two days. Have to dig deep!
- Time : Best time is 5am. For the lazy heads, maximum would be 10am. Market gets a continuos supply of fish throughout the morning. Going early doesn’t necessarily mean that you are getting the freshest!
3. What to take..
- Lots of shopping bags. I’ve never been this glad in any other market about their environmental policy. They don’t provide polythene bags at all, nor you can buy them anywhere close-by.
- A regiform box with a lid. Mine is 2′ x 3′ x 2′. Remember my utility is different from yours.
- A waterproof mat to lay on the carpet of your car.
- Some perfume if you gotta a date on the way!!
4. Parking is 20 bucks. Ample and safe.
5. Which shop?
- I would classify types of sellers in to three.
- 1. Large scale sellers interested in whole sale customers.
- 2. Medium scale sellers
- 3. Vendors running around
- I prefer the medium scale sellers. They give enough attention to your needs. Avoid small vendors who would push you to buy stuff, most of the time they are the rejected ones.
- Remember, you are not their main target customer category. But I have not encountered a single bad experience so far. Most of them are friendly and welcoming. Very few had been pushy and persuasive.
6. How to select?
- Selection depends on the type of fish you want buy. There is quit a variety, ranging from Shrimp, cuttle fish, tuna to enormous giant sharks.
- As you already know, JK’s favorite is tuna. But lately tuna has been bit expensive and hard to find, so seer is our recent choice.
- Try to buy the whole fish.
7. Choosing the freshest..
- This is where you have to be mindful. Examine well, be patient, there are plenty of fish in the market.
- I have so far found few key methods to find fresh fish. Don’t be apprehensive, if the seller doesn’t allow you to examine, move to the next shop.
- Poke the fish with your index finger. If you see pitting the fish is not fresh.
- See the gills. They gotta be bright red in color.
- Check the under side of the belly. If the skin is pealing off the fish is very old.
- I have little experience with cuttle fish and shrimp. Will be grateful if one of my fans can enlighten me on that!
8. How to pack?
- Now you’v done all the difficult part so let’s not ruin your hard earned fish!
- There is an ice factory right next to the market. I could fill my box for 30 bucks.
- Before you put fish in, put a thin layer of ice. Stack fish carefully, not to keep on top of each other.
- Add more ice on top.
- Close the lid firmly and check for any leaks.
9. More tips
- Don’t bother to pretend that you are poor by wearing old cloths, I have failed so far in all my attempts.
- Be nice to sellers. They are good people, and they will be nice to you if you speak to them well. Leave your prejudice at home.
- Be aware of the carts that can bump in to you. Best is to keep to a side in the isle when walking.
- Be mindful of your valuables. I haven’t had any issue yet, but who knows?
- TAKE YOUR POLYTHENE BAGS!!!! JK is always committed to promote good environmental habits among our fans. I am thinking of an alternative for shopping bags, can someone suggest?
If you need more tips, please write in the comments section.
Healthy cooking starts from your market place…