If you have ever wondered about the relative advantages of fresh versus frozen fish, it is helpful to know that more and more chefs use both fresh and frozen fish interchangeably in the kitchen depending on availability.
Both fresh and frozen fish offer similar nutritional value.
Whole or Round- Whole fish just as it comes from the water. Yields- 2-4 servings per kg or 1-2 servings per pound.
Dressed- Whole fish, gutted with or without head. Yields- 4-6 servings per kg or 2-3 servings per pound.
Steaks- Cross-section cuts of large fish. Yields- 4-6 servings per kg or 2-3 servings per pound.
Fillets- Meaty sides of fish. Yields- 6-8 servings per kg or 3-4 servings per pound.
Like other foods, fish are perishable, so look for the following characteristics as a guide to good quality.
Tips for Buying Fresh Whole Fish
Full, clear, bright eyes. Bright red or pink, clean gills. Fresh, mild odour. Shiny, brightly colored skin with tightly adhering scales. Firm flesh, elastic to the touch, clinging tightly to the bones. Proper display: on ice tables or in refrigerated units at 1-2 degrees Celsius (34-36 degrees Fahrenheit).
Tips for Buying Fresh Fillets and Steaks
Glossy and freshly-cut appearance, firm texture. No signs of browning or drying around cut edges. No discolouration. Proper display: in perforated plastic containers or metal trays to drain liquid; placed in closed refrigerated units at 1-2 degrees Celsius (34-36 degrees Fahrenheit) or surrounded by crushed ice.
Freezing locks in freshness, flavor and texture. To maintain quality, pickup frozen products at the end of your shopping trip; choose packages displayed below the maximum-load line of the freezer counter; The following tips will help you to determine the quality of frozen fish.
Tips for Buying Frozen Fish
Look for solidly frozen products. If surface is visible through clear plastic packaging, make sure there are no dried cottony patches or discoloured spots on the surface of the fish, and there are no ice crystals or frost inside the wrapping. When buying frozen whole fish, choose fish with an ice coating or glaze, which prevents discoloration and drying. When buying frozen brand-name packages or store-wrapped packages, look for undamaged sealed wrapping, with little or no empty space inside the wrapping.
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