At first when I heard from my son, Chef Kevin, he wanted to see the Fish Auction in Honolulu, I was bewildered! There’s a lot of scenic tours around the island why at the Pier 38?
4 Am mom!
What? Why? Are we going on fishing? Are we selling fish? Why 4 am?
Do we have to take part in auction?
What about the smell?
Well, this is his holiday gift so I just went along with the idea. We woke up at 4:30 and was at Pier 38 5:30 am, the auctions starts at 6 am. Thought provoking? Yes! you can say that again, a lot of things in my mind🙂 Anyhow , as I see the excitement on his eyes , I begun to feel excited too!
To my surprise, the place is clean and I hardly smell the fishes.Before going in, we passed through a small board with water ( i’m assuming it is mixed with disinfectant) . I noticed a small portion of the fish tail is cut off and I learned later that it was done to show the color of the meat i.e.: bright red is fresh, streaks of white indicates high fat content and if brown, oxygenation has taken place. Would you still buy it? The guide said, are you going to eat it raw? or are you going to cook it? It depends🙂
Why are we wearing headset? Well, with all the people around trying to bid, it would be hard for us to listen to the guide. The auction is done like in the wall street trade but instead of suits,hand gestures and screaming, auctioneers are in jackets and boots,quickly moves in rows of fish and speaks in steady fast manner.
The most common is yellow fin tuna and big eye tuna, but they also have opa – moon fish
Well, I’m happy that I went along with chef Kevin’s idea. I enjoyed the tour as well. And here are the few things I learned:
-Tuna contains the mineral selenium (selenoneine) which is antioxidant and together binds with the mercury which lowers the risk of mercury-related problem. When we eat tuna we likely get the same antioxidant protection.
-Interesting to note, and tricky too :0 Tuna has a higher mercury content than other fishes so it was advise pregnant women should avoid eating it, but other researches shows when pregnant women eats more tuna, the kids are more smarter.
-Hawaiian name for big-eye tuna- (Ahi) yellow fin, blue fin (maguro)
After the tour, we had breakfast at Nico’s Pier 38
I enjoyed the tour as well🙂 I had a better idea of what is going on in an auction like this. I also have a better appreciation of the fishermen and the chefs who have gone through fish searching , so we can savour the menu on the table.
Way to go!