How to choose fresh whole fish
Buying Whole Fish
When buying whole fish the easiest way to tell is to make sure:
- The eyes are bright, clear and the convex is not sunken or cloudy.
- Make sure that the fish does not have any noticeable odor but should be briny and there should be a sea odor, like seaweed. If the odor is the scent of the beach at low tide, this should be avoided as this is an indication of decay. The decaying scent will only intensify whilst the fish is cooking.
- The best indications of fresh fish is the gills should be bright red.
- The skin of the fish needs to be taut, clean and glistening and be as if the fish is almost alive, but note that the skin is not necessarily a good indicator of fish decay as the fish color will fade almost immediately after the fish’s death.
- The fish’s belly should be taut, but not swollen or sunken. If the belly is swollen or sunken, this indicates that the digestive enzymes of the fish’s gut have broken down and has digested some of the flesh of the fish.
how to choose fresh fillets
When buying fillets look for the following to make sure your fish fillets are fresh:
- As with the whole fish guidelines the fillet is the same with odor but more important. The reason this is said because of the exposure to air, and has less signs to show if the fish is not fresh like, the gills, the eyes, etc. to go by.
- If the skin is intact then the fish then the above guidelines apply from above, but also make sure the fish skin should be cleanly cut and not ragged.
- The flesh should be firm, robust, shiny but never dry. When the flesh is touched it should spring back when gently touched and the edges should not look like they have begun to brown as this shows decay and oxidation.
- If there is a liquidy mucous covers the surface of the flesh, it should be completely transparent and glossy; if it is milky, opaque appearances indicates that the flesh has been exposed to air for an extended period of time and shows it is not fresh.
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