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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.
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 Fish||Medium Fat Fish||Fat Fish|
|Lean Fish6 months||Medium Fat Fish4 months||Fat 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:
- -placing an unopened package in the refrigerator overnight OR
- -in cold water for 1-2 hours OR
- -thawing in a microwave oven using the DEFROST cycle.
Never thaw at room temperature.
Use thawed fish as soon as possible after thawing.
NEVER REFREEZE FISH THAT HAS BEEN THAWED.
Cook immediately, then serve or wrap well and refreeze for a short period.