Shoppers from around the world rely on the superior quality of fresh seafood caught just off New Zealand’s coast and shipped to markets all over the globe. With so much fresh seafood available right at home, Kiwis are fortunate to have daily access to some of the best fish in the world. Even with fresh catches readily available, knowing how to shop for fresh fish can help make any dish all that it can be.
When shopping for fresh fish, count on local suppliers you trust for high quality products. Compromising on freshness is never acceptable, and even slightly off products can ruin your meal. Never settle for less than the very best when it comes to seafood. The following tips for selecting fresh fish will help you make the best decisions at the market:
Tips for Fish Shopping
• Look for bright, clear eyes. Clouding is a sign that a fish might be past its prime condition.
• Do a sniff test. A fresh fish should not have an unpleasant smell, or even smell “fishy!” The smell should be slightly briny and the mild smell of fresh seawater.
• Compare your choices. Look for differences in the same type of fish, like discoloration or dullness and pick the best of the bunch.
• Inspect the scales. Fresh whole fish should have bright, metallic scales that adhere tightly together. They should be free of slime or mucus.
• Check out the gills. Gills that are deep red or pink are ideal and indicate freshness.
• Fish steaks should contain flesh that is firm and not separated. Packaging should not cause the steak to be bent in an unnatural position
• Keep it cold. Ask the grocer to pack your fish on ice for you before you leave the store. At home, store fish in the coldest part of your refrigerator. Freeze fresh fish safely for no more than ten months.
Making the Most of a Seafood Bounty
• Substitute seafood into your favorite chicken recipes! Any mild white fish can be used in place of chicken. Just remember that cooking time will be less with fish than chicken, so adjust accordingly.
• Scallops are a great meat substitute in a variety of dishes that traditionally use pork or chicken.
• Add fried or broiled fish to tacos in place of ground beef. Just shred and enjoy.