How to buy fish

Buy Fish Fresh Or Frozen

If the fish you buy is truly fresh, it will have a better flavor and texture than its frozen counterpart. The decision to to buy fresh or frozen often comes down to the availability of the type desired. Freezing will cause a loss of flavor and texture, but if it is done properly the effect is minimal. Freshness is the most important thing to look for when you buy fish. Getting poor quality is the best way to ruin a meal before it is even started. Here are few things to look for.

If you are going to buy fish that is fresh .

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If you are going to use whole fish  pay special attention to the eyes. They should be full and clear, not concave or milky white. The gills on the very fresh  are red to pinkish red. With age they will eventually turn gray and then brown. The skin should be shiny and colorful, not dull or dried out. The scales should hold on to the skin firmly, and when you touch the flesh it should be firm, not mushy. Whole fish with broken fins or tails have probably been previously frozen.
Fillets and steaks should not be slimy or mushy but rather firm to the touch. The most important test is the smell test. Smell for strong odors. On whole fish pay special attention to the smell of the gills and the belly cavity.
If fresh they will have a moist appearance. It should not have a dried out look or yellowish tinge.

If you buy fish that is frozen

2696641615_6c3fb9200c_z Frozen fish can be very good but it must be frozen and stored properly. Here is some information on ways to store fish. If you are buying frozen make sure that it is rock hard. If defrost cycles on retail cases are not working properly the packages closest to the customer can thaw slightly. Feel the package. Watch for brown spots or white cottony areas. This is a sure sign of freezer burn. Ice or excessive frost in the package means that the package has been thawed and refrozen. Fish should not be thawed and refrozen if possible. This will cause a loss of texture and flavor.

How much fish to buy

Whole : When you buy whole or round fish, you are buying it just as it comes from
…………………..the water. These are about 45% edible, depending on the species, and
…………………..you should allow about 1 pound per person.
Drawn: Drawn fish have only the innards removed. The head and tails are left intact.
…………………They are about 48% edible. Allow about 1 pound per person.                Dressed or pan dressed If you buy fish that is dressed or pan dressed it is
…………………..cleaned, scaled and headless. They are about 67% edible. Allow about
…………………..3/4 pound per person.
Steaks:  Steaks, are a cross section of the fish. Larger fish are
…………………usually used for this. In most cases they are about 84% edible. Allow about
………………….½ pound per person.
Fillets:  Fillets should be boneless but they could still have the skin on.
………………….They are about 95 % edible. Allow about 6 -8 ounces per person.

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