Fish is a healthy part of your diet; but many people choose not to eat it because they are not sure what to look for. First of all, check out the local fish markets. You may need to visit more than one to find one you like. A good fish market should not smell too fishy. It should be clean and the fish should be displayed on ice.
Do not be afraid to ask questions. When was the fish brought in? What are their recommendations for cooking it? A good fishmonger should be knowledgeable about their products and how to prepare it. If their fish and seafood is fresh, there should be no problem about asking to see anything up close.
Look at the Fish
Fresh fish should be firm and stick to the bone. When you touch it (ask if you can use a latex glove), it should spring right back. Smell the fish. It should smell like the sea, not old fish. If it smells fishy, it is not fresh. If you are buying a whole fish, the eyes should be clear and glossy; the gills should be shiny and red. The tail should not be brittle, dried, or curly. At any good fish market, you can ask to have a whole fish filleted for you if you want, or you can take the whole fish home and cook it that way. If you are interested in a fish in the display case, ask if there are more in the back. It is best to get one from the refrigerated area rather than the display case if possible.
If you are buying frozen fish, look for information on the label. You want individually quick frozen fish (IQF), not fish that has been bulk frozen. Individually frozen fish are not in a big chunk. You can easily remove as many as you need. Do not buy the fish if the package is damaged in any way.
Taking Your Fish Home
Bring a cooler with you. Put your seafood in the cooler for the trip home. If you are buying fish at the grocery store, make sure it is the last thing you pick up before you check out and go home. Keep the fish as cool as possible until you can get it into the refrigerator or freezer at your home. Always refrigerate fish in the coldest part of your refrigerator: the bottom shelf.
If you are buying whole round fish, you will need about ¾ to 1 pound per person. If you are buying a whole, cleaned fish, figure on ½ to ¾ pounds of fish per person. If you are buying steaks or fillets, you will need ? to ½ pound per person.
Buying Fresh Fish Online
You can get fresh seafood online from many different companies. Many of them carry both freshwater and saltwater seafood. You can order salmon, halibut, arctic char, trout, and more. They will ship your fish direct to your door overnight to insure freshness. They may also carry many types of ready to eat seafood dishes and products.
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