Birmingham Indoor Market and Wholesale Market
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Except for a short hiatus whilst the Bull Ring was being redeveloped, the Indoor Market has always been there to serve the city with fresh fish and meat. Down the road is its ugly sister the Wholesale market, threatened with extinction but hanging on for salvation.
Both markets hold some wonderful fresh produce, the only thing they ask of you is to be brave and get stuck in. All opinions are my own, a Brummie who has been using the markets for over 30 years.
The rivalry between them has pretty much stayed the same too, which is a good thing because between them Birmingham is served with some great shellfish. You can buy fresh by which I mean live shellfish such as lobsters, crabs, scallops, mussels, oysters and clams six days a option market opening times birmingham fruit and veg wholesale Monday to Saturday. But really the quality is about the same. Both have beautiful native lobsters when in season, which I urge you to buy in preference to the dark shelled Canadian lobsters.
The flesh of our blue native lobster are denser and sweeter. Both shops have an eat-in shellfish bar that serve prepared crabs, lobsters, oysters, whelks, mussels, cockles and even jellied eels. Each fish is draped in a clear film, all in all a very sparse looking fish counter. But if you look closer, every fish is the best example of its kind and very fresh.
If I were to open a sushi bar in the market I would make Mr Satchwell my very best friend. He always has wonderful flatfish such as brill, dover and lemon sole, large chunks of halibut and tuna. Again he only displays his fish singly but has more in the back. But that fish half consistently has the largest selection of fish in the whole market and is always bustling with activity on busy market days. I often buy their trays of farmed sea bass or gilt-head bream, usually 4 for a tenner, which makes them cheaper than the wholesale market.
The turbot is always good here too, possibly my favourite fish much prized by Cantonese cooks for its firm white flesh and thick gelatinous skin. All Seasons Fishmongers Specialist in exotic fish from warmer waters, mostly previously frozen but impressive all the same.
Especially the freshwater Rau a monstrously big river-fish from India, which one day I will pluck up the courage to buy. They only thing I do buy here regularly is octopus. These are the meaty twin sucker kind that taste much better than the single sucker variety that the rest of the market sells.
The quality in general is middling at best but cheap! Walter Smiths Greatest Pork Pie you will ever eat, that is all you need to know. All market butchers are inately crafty. Though not all their pork is British, you have been warned. Hong Keen New kid on the block, a Chinese butchers with some decent cuts of beef and pork.
Here you will find all you will ever need to make any Oriental far Eastern dish. From its awkwardly shaped frontage you will find fresh produce ranging from tofu, fish balls and noodles to Thai basil, banana leaves and galangal through to durian, mangosteen and rambutan past gai lan, choi sum and tong ho.
Essential one stop shop for all your Oriental needs. Some of the produce here is replicated but sells option market opening times birmingham fruit and veg wholesale Western groceries. Apples, pears, oranges, leeks and celery replace pak choy and green mangos. However this shop has a slower turnaround and the produce is a little more tired than its Asian counterpart so choose carefully.
Occassionally you will find something extraordinary here, a golden tamarillo anyone? Mr Fish specialises mostly in game! The market is split into four blocks: For a few years there was a guard on the gate that stopped public vehicles from entering, you had to be in a trade vehicle or have a permit to drive in.
So there was no choice for members of the public but to walk in. Of course as with any wholesale market in the world you need to get there early. I usually go around 7: Vickerstaff has more variety, stocking African and Asian species and salted dried fish from around the world.
See if you can spot the box of red herrings that always seems to be there. To my eye though the quality of the fish at Caterfish is consistently better option market opening times birmingham fruit and veg wholesale they always have lots of good looking salmon, bass and bream.
Caterfish also have 3 live lobster tanks in their cold storage room, if you are a lobster fan then ask to be shown inside where you can dunk your hands into the chilly waters and pull out your own fresh lobsters.
But my favourite fish wholesaler is WS Scotta smaller operation nestled between the two big boys. Fresh prawns galore from little ones to banana sized ones from Africa. Always the best turbot here, usually two sorts wild and farmed. I prefer the farmed, from icy cold clean Norweigian waters they taste wonderfully clean. Dover soles, lemon soles, live crabs, lobsters, scallops, razor clams all usually very good quality.
For that reason alone they will always be my favourite! The poultry and egg section is adjacent to the fish market. They also sell duck, game and around xmas time whole lobes of foie gras. Get your boxes of Indian or Pakistani mangoes from Bidwalla when they are in season. Thank you for this. I would not have known where to start. Were you tempted to you get anything Tania? I imagine half a dozen oysters and a dressed crab would make a decent lunch. Bring your own wine!
You and Nick have got to have the best food blog in and about Brum. I love reading stuff from people with such a passion for food and it shines through whist providing really useful information. Just gutted I was away for your pop-up, have you got option market opening times birmingham fruit and veg wholesale plans to do any future events?
I loved the triple roast blog and I tried the Peach Garden last week as Sum Ye was shut and they must have had a good pork day as the pork belly was crispy and delicious and the char siu whilst looking quite sorry for itself was sweet and flavoursome.
Have you considered doing a similar post on the rest of china town. I think the market should be the first port of call for everyone wanting to buy fresh seafood. At option market opening times birmingham fruit and veg wholesale moment most of the punters are ethnic or working class but if a wider spectrum of people use the markets for their food shopping then we can really make it flourish.
But keep an eye out for events at Loaf HQ in Stirchley. Between loaf maestro Tom Baker and the super talented Dom Clarke there should be some interesting pop-ups happening. BBQ village is really great, we love it in there and Miss Korea is also a good one. I like the sound of being a Chinatown eating guide, I could get paid in pork belly. The Indoor market will be open on Xmas eve all day. Seafood-wise there will be plenty of fresh shellfish available and some wet fish too. Get there early to avoid disappointment.
Can I sign up to come? Lastly could I ask you is there a big diff in taste using fresh or cooked crab in recipes, and per crab, about how much of the weight is meat? Fresh is far superior. Really good blog post, fantastic in fact.
I have not eaten any fish or meat since however. This blog has helped me to think about fish on offer in Birmingham and what might be my next decision with eating fish, thanks for the heads option market opening times birmingham fruit and veg wholesale.
My next question is sustainability, do you follow the sustainability guides with fish and are their fish mongers who are following these guidelines? Or is the market not even close to that due to the clientele, without sounding snobby of course.
Your comments about sustainability are perfectly valid. In fact the more we question the vendors at the market the more we raise awareness of the issues. At the moment the only vendor I can have a viable dialogue with is Satchwells.
He often has MSC certified fish and line caught mackerel. Nice one Lap, going to check one of the eat in bars out tomorrow. Thanks again for this blog post, will be sharing it option market opening times birmingham fruit and veg wholesale sure. I will definitely stop by market this week. Hi there, enjoyed your post. Do you know whether anything similar can be found in Birmingham around B. Your email address will not be published.
I was looking for Christmas opening times for the market surprised not to find them. Dear Lap what a great blog. Oh and do you have any any recipes for crab shell bisque? Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. How to smoke an eel.