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About Everything Wiki » Health » Selection and storage of fish and seafood

Selection and storage of fish and seafood

02 May 2023, 07:16, parser
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To my great regret, Kiev stands on the banks of the river, not the sea. And this means that really fresh sea fish is quite a rare phenomenon in our country… and very expensive. Basically, we are content with chilled or frozen fish. But even if the fish was fished out of the aquarium with you, this does not mean at all that it is perfect. How to choose the right really high-quality fish and how to store it properly so that it does not lose its taste qualities?


Googling, I found quite a lot of material on this topic, but almost everywhere you can distinguish 5 basic rules. When choosing a fish, you should examine it carefully, feel and smell it!

Fresh fish

1. Eyes. Pay attention to the eyes — they should not be cloudy in any case! Only clear and brilliant eyes! If the "gaze" is slightly clouded or covered with a milk film, it means that the fish has been for several days and its shelf life has almost expired.

2. Scales and skin. Pay attention to the scales. It should fit snugly and be bright and shiny (metallic). Be careful if a part of the scales is missing on the fish or it is dry and dull, also do not take fish with darkened dry skin (if it is cleaned of scales). Fresh fish should be moist and elastic. The tail of the fish should also be elastic.

3. Gills. The gills of fresh and high-quality fish should be bright red, possibly pink. Also, when choosing a fish, you need to make sure that there is no mucus in the gills. If the gills are pale or close to brown, or you have found mucus, then its shelf life has come to an end and the seller is deceiving you.

4. Smell. A really fresh sea fish does not have a "fish smell" as such. It should smell of the sea and salt. If the smell is sour, very strong, or you "stink of fish", then the product is not so fresh.

5. Elasticity. If you're buying a fish fillet, try tapping it with your finger and see what happens. If the fillet is elastic and regains its shape, it means it is fresh. If a fingerprint remains, then the fish was not the first freshness. The same goes for whole fish.


If you live far from the sea, then shellfish is definitely worth buying frozen. But if you are in a seaside town and decided to cook something with fresh ones, then you should know that it's better to buy them in a proven place and alive! How to determine that a mollusk is dead? Since fresh shellfish must be sold alive, they must respond to external stimuli. Put them on the table, step back and wait a bit. Then tap on the sink — it should be closed even tighter than when you bought it. Oysters will be more difficult — they have very dense and hard shells. But mussels and clams will definitely react to this.

Another way to determine the "degree of liveliness" is cooking. If you bought dead clams, they won't open the shells when cooking. You can safely throw them away. And, yes, if you are not sure about the freshness of the purchased shellfish, it is better not to try them raw!


This is the easiest thing — buy them whole and frozen. Shrimp is a protein that spoils very quickly! And it is better to choose them whole because the shell protects against damage that can be caused by freezing, and helps to retain more moisture.

Squid and octopus

They are almost always sold frozen, so it is better to buy them in this form. If you are lucky enough to buy fresh specimens, then you need to pay attention to their eyes, elasticity and smell (as in the case of fish).


Now let's move from buying to storing. And let's start with fresh fish!

Fresh fish even needs to be stored with ice in the refrigerator, so you will need ice and two plastic containers — one slightly smaller than the other. Pour ice into a large container, put the fish in it and cover it with ice on top. And cover the top with a smaller container. This way it will hold ice and fish. And it would be ideal if she lay with her dorsal fins up, as if she was swimming in a pool.

How long can you keep fresh fish this way? If you caught the fish yourself, you can store it for 7-10 days. If you bought fish at the market, then you can store it in this way for only a few days. The same goes for fillets and steaks.


If you decide to freeze fish, then you should know that "freeze" does not mean just to put it in the freezer. In order to freeze fish qualitatively and store it for several months, you need to take something into account!

1. Dry freezing. Well, or almost. Remember that the air is your enemy! It can spoil the fish, so you have to do everything to block access to oxygen. To do this, it is not necessary to have special equipment for vacuum packaging. Just dry the fish well and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.

2. Glazing. In order to cover the fish with a layer of ice, simply immerse it in cold water, then put it on a tray or any other flat surface that can withstand a low temperature, and send it to the freezer. Wait until the water layer freezes and repeat the procedure. And so on until the ice layer on the fish is about 6.5 mm.

Frozen fish is stored for about 3 months. Tuna, salmon, salmon and other fatty fish can be stored for about 6 months, but not more. After that, it loses its taste and useful properties.

And when buying frozen fish at the market or in supermarkets, pay attention to its appearance. If the ice is cracked and bumpy, damage and stains are visible under it, then it has been frozen several times and it is better not to buy such fish!

I hope this short post will help you next time when buying fish products. And even if the seller tells you that the fish is the freshest, look into her eyes — they will not deceive ;)

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