Is Your Fish REALLY Fresh?

Salmon is one of the healthiest ways to get omega-3 acids in your diet

photo by hydropeek via Flickr

I love to cook at home and enjoy preparing a wide variety of dishes, new recipes and ingredients. However, when it comes to selecting and buying fresh fish with confidence, that can be intimidating.

 

Here are a few simple tips when choosing fish to prepare for family and friends. A big key is to use your senses!

 

#1 Smell! If you walk into a fish market and you are immediately greeted by a pungent, funky smell that's a big warning sign that the fish is not being handled properly and that the store is not clean. Definitely go somewhere else. When shopping, ask to smell the fish. (This is a perfectly acceptable request.) Fresh seafood has a briny smell, like the ocean. It does not smell fishy. That's a sign of bacterial decay.

 

#2 Sight! Does the flesh or skin appear dry, dull, or dehydrated? If it's sold whole, are the eyes murky or cloudy? These are all telltale signs that a fish has been sitting behind the glass for too long. If the fish is filleted, look for discoloration, brown or yellow edges and a spongy consistency. These are all signs of aging fish.  Also, look at the ice. You want to see the fish lying on beds of finely-crushed ice, not on cubes of ice, which can damage fragile filets.

 

#3 Listen! Ask your fishmonger what's freshest. Inquire about where and how recently the fish was caught, when it arrived in the market and how it has been handled. Let them make suggestions on which fish is best for the preparation method you plan to use.

 

 Buying the freshest fish isn't enough —

keeping it fresh in your refrigerator

is key to making the perfect seafood meal

 

Now that you've found the perfect fish, don't blow it by not transporting and storing it properly. Keep it on ice until you get home.  A good fish market will always offer to put your fish on ice for the ride home.

 

Most home refrigerators aren't cold enough to keep fish in for long. The ideal temperature for storing fish is 33-34 degrees — almost, but not quite, freezing. So, if you buy fish and aren't planning on using it for one or two days, you should unwrap the fish and then re-wrap it so it's not so tight in the paper. Fill a bowl with ice and put the fish, in its paper, on top of the ice, and cover the whole thing, bowl and all, with an upside-down colander. Put this is the back of your fridge, the coldest part. This is good for up to 48 hours of storage.

 

Now — get cooking!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lighthouse Seafood is a family business, owned and operated by Tim and Heather O'Leary.

They have supplied Central Florida restaurants and residents with prime seafood for more than a decade.

Their commitment is to always have only the freshest seafood for your table.

Grouper  Snapper  Salmon  Shrimp  Tuna  Trout  Halibut  Cod  Stone Crabs  Blue Crabs

King Crab  Snow Crab  Clams  Oysters  Mahi  Swordfish  Florida Lobster  Maine Lobster

101 N. Country Club Rd.

Lake Mary, FL 32746

407.330.2425

8780 E CR 466

The Villages, FL 32162

352.751.1755