Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Nothing fishy about this deal

Two pounds-plus of just-off-the-boat fresh shrimp, deveined, butterflied, marinated and grilled to perfection. Total cost: About $10.

Sometimes you just gotta love this place.

I finally got around to checking out the fish market yesterday. The directions were spotty – head toward the port, resist the temptation to turn off at the fruit and vegetable market, circle the roundabout and find the big warehouse-looking building on the docks. It was much easier than it sounded – a big sign saying "FISH MARKET >>>" was a clue that wasn't included in the directions I got from a co-worker – and well worth the effort.

Inside, the market works like a souk -- row after row of big steel tables of iced-down seafood, each manned by a guy trying to get your attention and convince you his is the best, freshest and cheapest you're going to find. The variety is amazing – all kinds of fish, shrimp, clams, crabs, lobsters ... the temptation to overindulge is strong.

But we stuck with the plan: pick out the shrimp (30 dirhams for a kilo), then take them to one of the "cooking shacks" at the side of the warehouse, where guys again compete for your business. It's a great concept – you hand over your catch, tell them how you want it prepared, and come back in 30 minutes. You fork over 10 dirhams and they give you the shrimp, wrapped in foil and smelling so good it was hard not to open them up and try one on the way home.

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