How to Choose Fresh Fish for Cooking

Fish is rich in protein. Oily fish, such as salmon, herring and mackerel, is rich in vitamins A and D. White fish has very little fat Canned fish is often packed in oil, which adds fat The tiny bones are actually soft enough to be eaten and they contain calcium and phosphorous. Many of the basic techniques we will talk about relate to fresh sea and freshwater fish, as these are often as cheap, if not cheaper, than frozen varieties.

How to Choose Fresh Fish for Cooking How to Choose Fresh Fish for Cooking

Spotting a Good Fish

These are points to look out for when buying fresh fish:

Texture: The flesh should be firm and not flabby.

Odour: No stale or unpleasant odour should be present.

Gills: These should be bright red in most varieties.

Eyes: The fish’s eyes should be bright and not sunken-in and dull.

Skin: The skin should be slimy, but not have a yellowish slime, as this shows the fish has begun to rot.

Buying Your Fish

Do not go out intending to buy a certain kind of fish. Buy what is in season and is plentiful and cheap. The price of fish varies even greater than most other types of food. Because it is so perishable, sometimes particular fish are very scarce and at other times there is far more available than can be sold. Go for smaller, younger fish. A flatfish, for example, should be thick in proportion to its size. Always choose a thick slice from a small fish rather than a thin slice from a larger one. This will mean that more of what you buy will be edible and not bone or waste.

Fresh Fish

Ideally, you should cook your fresh fish on the same day as you buy it. It quickly loses its freshness and flavor. If you are going to put it in your fridge, then make sure you cover it, otherwise it will taint the other food. If frozen fish has thawed out never refreeze it, so check whether the ‘fresh fish’ from the fishmonger, fish stall or grocery store is fresh or whether it has previously been frozen.


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