Archive for the tag 'chinese'

Mycobacterium marinum infection of the arm of a fish-tank worker.

An example of the infection in its earlier stages. These spots can grow into lesions and spread into the muscle tissue, making surgery necessary. (Source: CDC)

At least 30 people have been diagnosed with a bacterial skin infection after handling raw fish at Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens Chinese markets, spurring the New York City Department of Health to warn residents to take precautions.

The department is urging anyone who handles live or raw fish to wear waterproof gloves and to avoid direct contact with the seafood. There is no risk from consuming the food once it has been cooked, the agency notes.

The bacteria that causes the infection, Mycobacterium marinum, leads to symptoms including tender swelling and red bumps, as well as pain and difficulty moving fingers. It enters the body through cuts or injuries while handling live or raw seafood. Although easy to combat early on, if left untreated it could significantly worsen and require surgical treatment.

So far, cases have been linked to all three boroughs. The case found in Brooklyn was traced back to a Sunset Park market.

If you believe you have symptoms of the infection, you can call the Health Department’s Bureau of Communicable Disease at (347) 396-2600 and ask to speak to a physician.


THE BITE: Today on The Bite, it’s seaweed time!

Seaweed comes in many varieties as it is an umbrella term for all species of ocean plants, and it can be prepared many ways. The one pictured here is Korean kim (or sometimes spelled gim, pronounced with a hard “g”), which is actually a type of red algae. It is harvested in cold waters usually during the winter, and is boiled and dried in big lumpy masses.

This is the same stuff that gets fried up to make Welsh laverbread, or left in big plain sheets as nori to roll Japanese sushi. The type we have here is a Korean side dish where paper-thin sheets are toasted with sesame oil, cut into little rectangles and seasoned with salt. Not only is kim a popular dish in Korea, it is also the last name of about 21 percent of the population there.

Some people, including myself at times, can be averse to seaweed because of its slimy coldness, but this is a whole different textural experience. Gim is super crispy at first bite, sometimes leaving little green flakes behind. If you eat it too slowly, the heat inside your mouth makes it seem to melt on your tongue, which can be counted as a point for or against it, depending on what you’re into.

In the same way that American bars sometimes serve free pretzels or peanuts to keep patrons thirsty, bars in Korea and Japan sometimes serve this kind of seaweed as a salty bar snack. Surprisingly delicious as it is with beer (or soda for the kids), I don’t really see this taking off as a trend at Southern Brooklyn watering holes any time soon, so if you’re interested in trying it, better to buy it at Sea Bay Seafood & Meat Market Inc. (1241 Avenue U, at East 13th Street) where this A+ brand kim comes in a 3-pack for $1.39. Crispy, sesame-flavored, and salty, this is filled with all the goodness I would expect from kim.

If the super saltiness of it gives you pause, know that it also contains a wealth of nutrients, including iodine, iron, amino acids, B vitamins, and protein, so acquiring a taste for it has some perks.


Sea Bay Seafood & Meat Market Inc., 1241 Avenue U at East 13th Street, (718) 382-8889.

– Sonia Rapaport

The Bite is Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

Steve Lin

Steve Lin demonstrates his Tai Chi mastery.

Looking to decrease stress and get into shape without burning out your body or wallet? A local Tai Chi master is offering free classes to neighbors on the sidewalk in front of his home.

Steve Lin, a championship-level master of the ancient Chinese tradition, gives free Tai Chi lessons every Monday at 10 a.m. in front of his home at 2672 East 21st Street. He’s been offering the classes to friends and neighbors for the past decade.

Lin welcomes students of all ages and experience, including beginners, and no special equipment is necessary.

Bay Improvement Group Acting Executive Director Laura McKenna brought the story to our attention and asked that we share it. She met Lin in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, when he came with his son and grandchildren to volunteer in the bungalow courts.

Lin and his son Moses are both Sandy survivors as well, living in a flooded home. But despite that, they pitched in to help their neighbors.

Lin continues to give back with the free lessons. Tai Chi is a low-impact form of exercise that won’t leave you sore, but is acknowledged to decrease stress and anxiety, increase flexibility and stamina, and tone up the body over time.


Sheepshead Bites wishes all of our readers a happy, healthy New Year.

According to the Chinese zodiac, Year of the Snake 2013 will be a year for “steady progress and attention to detail. Focus and discipline will be necessary for you to achieve what you set out to create.”

How are you celebrating the Chinese New Year? Support your local businesses, and pick up some dim sum on Avenue U!

I’ll just come out and say it: I love Chop Stix. My girlfriend and I first tried their delicious food at A Taste of Sheepshead Bay event this past October, and their broccoli and chicken dish was easily one of the most memorable and satisfying bites we had that night. In light of that experience, it actually came as no surprise to me that Chop Stix made the New York Daily News’ list of the city’s best General Tso’s Chicken.

Chop Stix, located at 3790 Nostrand Avenue, is run by Chef George Wong and the Daily News tried to get at Wong’s secrets, but he wasn’t biting:

According to Wong, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, the secret to his General Tso’s chicken is the fresh snow peas, peppers, broccoli, baby corn and watercress he uses to accompany the dish. But it’s the sauce that is the most impressive. Wong won’t reveal what’s in it but admits that he lets it ferment for at least a week so “the ingredients mix in harmony.”

Keep your secrets, Mr. Wong, but keep serving up some of the best Asian cuisine in all of Brooklyn.

A new Chinese gift shop has opened at 1250 Avenue U.

The Chinese Court of Jingdezhen Ceramics Exhibition Factory Outlet primarily offers ceramic pieces, but also has framed art prints, jewelry, swords and other pretty, little knickknacks.

The location was previously an H & R Block.

I hear you get a significant discount if you can say their full name five times fast without mistake.

P.S. – I didn’t really hear that. But feel free to try.

The Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) After School Program at P.S. 153 in Homecrest is putting on a “Spring Showcase” that they hope will make you feel like jumping out of your seat and dancing, to celebrate the love of spring.

The show, May 6 at 4 p.m. inside the P.S, 153 auditorium (1970 Homecrest Avenue at Avenue T), will feature students and staff performing ditties such as The Beatles’ “All You Need Is Love,” Train’s “Hey Soul Sister,” as well as Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up” (performed by students only) to show appreciation to the parents who have brought their children to the afterschool program.

For more, call (718) 627-6373.


And now for something completely different...

Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

Take a moment to re-read that last line of The Bite’s intro blurb. “If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.” When Robert and I conceived of The Bite, it wasn’t to be just prepared foods served at restaurants and cafes, but also bottled and canned goods and other assorted comestibles unique to the area’s ethnic grocers. So, with more than a dozen great reviews of traditional foods under our belt, I began harassing Robert to try something a little more… fringe. On a visit to New York Mart yesterday, I told him that if he wanted to keep his job he’d eat and review whatever I bought him. To warm him up to the idea, I said I’d eat it, too. Below is his writeup. My thoughts are in parenthesis. – Ned.

Find out what we thought about the canned roasted eel we purchased from New York Mart.

Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

Avenue U west of Ocean Avenue has a reputation among the foodies of NYC as being Brooklyn’s “Mini China Town.”  Only Sunset Park’s “China Town” surpasses our neighborhood in size, but I believe our restaurants and markets are much better. Maybe I’m biased?

Stroll along the avenue and you’ll find Chinese bakeries, markets, stores and restaurants. Many of the store signs are in Chinese, leaving this guilo wondering what wonders await inside.

Today I followed my nose and stepped into L & U Cafe for a quick bite – a Cha Siu Baau or BBQ Pork Bun. Hmm, did someone say BBQ?

BBQ Pork – Who could ask for more?

Two Asian eateries were closed recently by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for unsanitary conditions, one of which received a staggering 105 violation points.

New Star Seafood Restaurant at 1217-1221 Avenue U was closed after a laundry list of violations was issued in at least 15 areas. Just a sampling of the complaints includes evidence of mice and roaches, food was not protected from potential contamination, hot food was not held at adequate temperatures, food preparation surfaces were not cleaned, and handwashing areas even lacked soap. Workers were even scolded in the DOH report for their personal cleanliness, with the inspector observing soiled garments and lack of hair restraints.

The restaurant was shut down on Friday, October 15, but a sign in the door (placed next to the DOH sign) said they were closed for renovation and would be reopened yesterday. As of today they are still closed.

Meanwhile, Yoshinoya Sushi at 1741 Sheepshead Bay Road (off of Shore Parkway) was closed yesterday for mice, rats and roaches, as well as improper storage of cold food items. They accumulated 45 points, largely for critical violations.

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