Kazunoko, Maguro & Ahi at Frank's Fish Market in Salinas
At a traditional Japanese new year's day open house today, I learned that the excellent kazunoko, maguro and ahi for the sashimi came from Frank's Fish Market. I've touted Frank's as an great source for the freshest local seafood, but I had no idea that these tunas and herring roe coud be obtained here, let alone of such high quality. My hosts said that Frank stocks them for New Year's. However, they did special order the maguro, a spectucular center cut of the loin, and said that the product they buy from Frank's has been better than at the Japanese markets.
Frank's Fish Market
16 Station Pl, Salinas, CA
Nope, not Japanese-American. I think Frank's Italian or Portuguese. This is an old fishmarket, and he might be the second or third owner. My grandfather used to shop there when I was a wee one. When I go in,he'll show tend to first show me the types of fish that are good for steaming, and will say that Chinese people like them.
My friend said she's bought fresh, head-on Monterey Bay prawns there in season, likewise the highly prized Santa Barbara spot prawns. I've seen Spanish mackerel, locally caught, in the case sometimes, as well as anchovies and sardines. One time there was a whole albacore on display!
Here's the photo I took in 2006 of Grandma's kitchen with the New Year's Day spread. Yesterday's looked nearly identical except instead of that pink box with the char siu bao from Cafe Bakery, I brought dan tat from Golden Gate Bakery in SF.
The sekihan in the top layer of that lacquered box was especially wonderful yesterday. The Japanese grandmother who made it carried it inside slung in a scarlet and white silk scarf.
When i arrived, they were fanning the sushi rice. Here's a photo showing the kids stuffing the inari sushi.
And, this is their late great-grandmother's old sushi knife. They used it to slice the sashimi. Too bad my iPhone camera couldn't pick up the black characters on the wooden handle.