Storing Fish For A Successful Cooking Endeavour

Prompt and proper home storage is the key to maintaining the initial quality of fish.

Low temperature and minimum storage time are the prime factors in maintaining quality.

Here are few hints for home storage of fish.

Storing Fresh Fish

Remove from store wrapping.

Wipe surface with a damp cloth.

If fish is whole, wash and pat dry.

Wrap in wax paper and place in a tightly covered container.

Refrigerate immediatly at 1-2° celsius (34-36° fahrenheit).

For long term storage, freeze immediately.


Storing Frozen

Home freezing of fresh fish is easy, safe and highly recommended.

Freeze only fresh catches or top quality commercial products.

Basic Freezing Methods

Clean, wash and wipe fresh whole fish soon after it is caught.

Freeze large fish solidly on a tray.

Dip in ice water and return to freezer, repeat several times to glaze.

Freeze small fish solidly on a tray OR place in a loaf pan, cover with cold water, freeze solidly and remove block.

Dip fillets and steaks in a basic brine solution for 20 seconds to help firm the flesh and preserve natural juices.

Pack in individual portion or family size packages.

Wrap in plastic wrap or waxed paper and seal inside an airtight freezer bag or container.

Label and date packages.

Store immediately in coldest part of home freezer unit at -18° celsius (0 degrees fahrenheit) or lower.


Storing Frozen Fish

Keep brand name products in their original sealed packages and store immediately in home freezer unit.

Keep store packaged products in their original wrapping, seal inside an airtight freezer bag or container and store immediately in home freezer unit.

Store at -18° celsius (0° fahrenheit) or lower.

Use within the following recommended storage periods:

Lean FishMedium Fat FishFat Fish
Lean Fish6 monthsMedium Fat Fish4 monthsFat Fish2 months


Thawing Frozen Fish

Do not thaw fish before steaming, oven-steaming, poaching or barbecuing in foil.

Partially thaw fish in the refrigerator, until flexible but still icy, before stuffing or cutting into strips or cubes.

Thaw fish completely before frying, broiling, barbecuing or cooking in a microwave oven, by either:

Never thaw at room temperature.

Use thawed fish as soon as possible after thawing.


Cook immediately, then serve or wrap well and refreeze for a short period.