How to Buy Fresh Fish

There are a few places that you can buy good quality fish from. Visit the fish market, and you have a choice of really fresh fish, right off the boat. Another option is buying it in a fish store, or in the fish section of the supermarket. The choice is entirely up to you, but make sure that the fish is fresh.

Steps

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    Go to a reputable store or fishmonger.
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    Ask what is the freshest or check what the catch of the day is.
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    Don't be misguided by the term "fresh." Most landlocked areas selling fish usually have two types of fish - thawed or frozen, unless it is an upstanding vendor who really likes freshness.
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    Look for firm, shiny flesh. It should bounce back when touched.
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    Sniff the fish. A "fresh" fish should not smell "fishy", but should have the odor of the ocean - such as a fresh ocean breeze.
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    Check the eyes. If the head is on, fresh fish should have clear eyes, no cloudiness should be present. They should bulge a little.
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    Check the gills. If whole, they should be bright pink/red and wet, not slimy or dry.
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    Check cuts of fish. Fish fillets and steaks should be moist and without change of color
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    On Fillets and steaks, look for flesh separation and gaps. If the meat separates from itself it's not fresh.
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    Look for discoloration, brown or yellow edges, and a spongy consistency, these are all signs of aging fish.

Tips

  • The best way to get fresh fish is find a reputable vendor and get to know them, if they know that you really want good fish and know you know your stuff they'll usually oblige.
  • In herrings, the eyes should be red, not clear.

Warnings

  • If using for sashimi or sushi, only buy sushi-grade fish or frozen vacuum-sealed fish.

Article Info

Categories: Fish and Seafood