The assortment of fresh fish available in markets is wide. They are usually offered whole, in steaks or fillets. So how to buy fish and what are the tricks to know when choosing the right fish to buy?
A good fishmonger will provide you with fresh fish only (good smell, bright eyes – smooth and shiny – firm flesh – red gills).
Once purchased, fresh fish should be placed as soon as possible in the refrigerator. You must remove packaging, rinse the fish =with cold water, dry with paper towels, spread it on a plate or dish, and cover tightly, but without pressing it.
Whole fish should be rinsed thoroughly inside. Refrigerators generally run at a few degrees higher temperature than that of a fishmonger’s refrigerator room, which is just above freezing. Therefore it is advisable to purchase fish shortly before use, especially in summer. It is then preferably carried in an insulated bag and cooked the next day at the latest.
Fresh fish, vacuum packed
Observe use-by dates. Remove the packaging sheet 20 minutes before preparing the fish. Dry with a paper towel.
Avoid at all costs fish that is well trimmed and presented in beautiful decorated coolers, roasted with thyme and bay leaf. They are not made to help you cook them but for you to spend money.
Buying frozen fish
The term frozen is for small parts (fillets, steaks, steaks, small whole fish) and the designation for large frozen pieces (whole salmon). Before buying, take the opportunity to look at the label that will let you know if the fish is wild or farmed, and will also tell you the fishing spot.
If the fish is to be poached, there is no need to thaw before cooking. If it is to be seared or sauteed, it will thaw in the microwave just before cooking and you have to drain and wipe it if necessary. Large pieces of frozen fish (e.g. whole salmon) need to thaw in the refrigerator 24 hours before.
Read the 2 others parts of this mini-guide:
- The classification of fish – Fish guide 1/3
- 8 essential criteria tu judge the freshness of fish – Fish guide 2/3