How to Choose Fresh Fish? Fish is a nutritious and delicious food, but it must be fresh. The freshness of the fish you eat with your family is much more important than many other foods. The most important thing to remember when using fish and shellfish is that they must be completely fresh. They deteriorate quickly, so to enjoy them at their best, buy only what you need, store them with care, and use them as soon as possible.
Choosing Fresh Fish
Look closely for freshness: Look for clear, bright eyes and moist, shiny skin. The gills, if present, should be bright red, and the scales should be difficult to remove. When pressed with a fingertip, the flesh should spring back easily. The fish should also smell fresh and clean.
How to Choose Fresh Fish?
- Round, white fish: Large round fish, such as cod, are usually sold cut into steaks, cutlets, or fillets, with or without the skin.
- Flat fish: Large flat fish, such as halibut or turbot, are sold whole or in fillets or steaks. Small fish such as flounder are sold whole or in fillets.
- Oily fish: These include salmon, herring, mackerel, trout, and sardines, and are sold whole or in fillets. Oily fish is an important source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are said to help prevent heart disease.
“Crimping” a fillet: If a fish fillet becomes slightly limp on the way home from shopping, revive it in the same way that anglers do by “crimping” it. Add 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of sea salt to 4 cups (1 liter) of water in a bowl. Soak the fish in the icy salt water for about 15 minutes.
Packing with ice: You can speed up the chilling of fresh fish in the refrigerator by placing ice cubes or crushed ice around it. Alternatively, fill two plastic bags with ice and seal them, then place the fish between them. Make sure that you remove the bags before the ice has melted.
Freezing Fresh Fish
- Glazing: To keep fish fillets moist in the freezer, first freeze the fresh fish until it is solid, then dip it briefly into iced water. A thin covering of ice will form over the fish. Whole fish can be dipped twice to produce a thicker ice layer. Then wrap the fish and freeze it.
- Labelling: Always label fish packs clearly before freezing them with the date they were frozen. Whitefish have a storage life of 12 months, while oily fish has a storage life of six months. Cooked fish dishes will keep for just three months in the freezer.
- Refreezing: Check with the supplier that the fish has not been previously frozen. It is not advisable to refreeze fish.
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