How to Safely Store Fish
When you are storing seafood (especially fish) in your freezer, you would do well to remember that fish is not meat. Once you establish that storing frozen fish and frozen meat have very different requirements, it will be easy for you to learn how to store fish perfectly so that it is fresh when you take it out for cooking.
Fish is usually more expensive than regular meat, and is amongst the most perishable types of food in our diet. This is why when we bring fish home from the store; there are a few things we must do. These include:
1. You Have To Keep Your Fish on Ice
It is essential to keep your fish on ice, even if you stash it in your freezer. This is because fish naturally swim in water which has temperatures much colder than air. This has caused fish to adapt to freezing water temperatures, which is why ice will help prevent the fish from rotting.
You will need to place your fish with its back fins facing up as if the fish is still swimming to make sure that it is iced evenly.
2. Place It In A Large Plastic Container:
Locate a large plastic container for your fish. If you can find a slightly smaller container to fit inside the larger one, you would be even better off at keeping your fish fresher than average. If you have two containers held in place together, you should drill/punch as many holes as possible in the bottom of the smaller container, which will hold your fish and ice. The smaller container will touch the bottom one, so you need to keep it elevated somehow.
3. Storage for Different Cuts of Fish
When you buy fresh fish, make sure that you store it in the deepest and coldest part of your refrigerator. To make the most out of your fish, try to cook it the very same day that you purchase it for maximum freshness. Never store your fish in water, as it would affect its texture and flavor. Use ice instead.
When you purchase whole fish, take it out of its wrapper immediately, wash it thoroughly and store it in the container(s) as mentioned above. If you do not have two containers, try setting it over ice in a colander which you can place in a larger bowl to catch dripping water. Make sure that the fish is buried in ice for maximum freshness and put it in the freezer.
When you buy fillets, you should always keep them in the wrapper so that skinless fish is protected. Set the entire package on ice, and cover it in ice to retain freshness.
When you purchase Shellfish, always take them out in a bowl and cover the bowl with a damp towel. Then place the towel-covered bowl in the coldest part of your freezer.
4. Important Things to Remember When Storing Fish
Here are some essential things that you must note when storing fish:
* The longer fish stays in the freezer, the more its quality gets compromised.
* Raw fish remains at higher quality after freezing in comparison to cooked fish.
* If your frozen fish is packaged, it can stay fresh for a longer time, hence only be concerned if the packaging has been exposed to air.
* Keep an eye out for discoloration and odor. Rancid fish looks disgusting; it will grow green and yellow and stink.
Andrew has been working in the food industry for several years helping sushi businesses on how to use it. http://www.sushimachine.com.au Andrew is also a passionate food blogger.