The amount of knowledge that one can access with a smartphone—and the ease with which one can do so—is nothing short of astounding. Feel like brushing up on the finer points of Newtonian physics? Simple. Need to refresh your memory as to what the Hegelian dialectic is? Type your query into Google and you’re well on your way to lightning fast edification. Want to know how to select the freshest seafood possible? Simply open up the Kitchen Stories app to access all the necessary information. What a time it is to be alive. Take a look at the following shopping tips, commit them to memory (or bookmark this article for future reference), and forever enjoy the bounty of the seven seas.
First things first: scour your neighborhood for a reputable purveyor of seafood. Chances are high that you will live within reach of a seafood shop, staffed by men and/or women who know the ins and outs of all things fish-related and that they will be more than happy to assist you in your day-to-day purchases. Make use of the culinary resources around you, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
In the event that you are unable to establish a friendly relationship with a local seafood specialist, then take means into your own hands and be informed when making your choices. Here are a few criteria to keep in mind when buying whole fish:
- Make sure that the eyes are bright, clear, and protruding. You can easily spot a funky whole fish when their eyes are pink, sunken, and cloudy. Keep your distance from those guys.
- The gills should be bright red and never dull-colored or gray.
- Fresh fish is smooth and slippery to the touch, but never slimy and sticky, and most certainly never dry. Also, the flesh itself should feel firm and the scales should still be colorful and lustrous.
- If it stinks, it’s a deal-breaker. Of course, it’s natural for fish to smell like the ocean, but anything more than that is purely suspicious.
- Let the appearance of the flesh in fillets guide you here. White fish, such as tilapia or cod, should appear to be translucent. Darker fish, like tuna or or salmon, should be bright and full in color.
- Again, the integrity of the flesh should appear firm, yet elastic. Be wary of bruises, and especially wary of excess liquid in pre-packaged fillets.
- The same advice for whole fish also applies here: you want your fillets to be moist, but never sticky/slimy nor dry.
Fresh fish usually keeps in the fridge for 2 - 3 days at maximum; however, it’s always wise to cook fish as close to the date of purchase as possible. In the event that you unwrap your fish prior to cooking and your gut instincts tell you that something’s wrong, be sure to adhere to the old fishmonger adage: “When in doubt, throw it out!” Keep an eye out for future articles on how to select fresh shellfish and sustainable seafood, in general.
Published on April 10, 2016