Shopping for seafood
Learn how to shop like Marco when choosing your seafood.
When it comes to buying fresh seafood, whether from a fishmonger or the wet fish counter at the supermarket, you have to know what you’re looking for. It has to be really fresh.
What to look for when shopping for fresh seafood:
- It should glisten and shine.
- It should smell of the sea.
If it doesn’t, walk away from it and buy something else.
It’s the same principle as when you’re shopping for wet fish, where you should look for shiny eyes, fish that shine, and bright red gills. Smell the seafood; look at the seafood. Make a judgment about what you’re buying. If it doesn’t look right, my advice, very simply, would be not to buy it.
Once you’ve bought your seafood take it home straight away and store it in the refrigerator to keep it chilled. Remember, too, that seafood should be cooked as soon as possible after purchasing, within 1–2 days of buying.
The best places to buy seafood
When you’re shopping for fresh seafood my personal preference would be to use a good fishmonger like my favourite James Knight. Traditional fishmongers are something of a rarity nowadays, but many supermarkets now offer fresh fish counters which will offer a selection of seafood. Look out, too, for local seafood which has been caught or harvested off the British coast, such as Devon crabs or Essex oysters. This way you’re eating really fresh seafood and supporting our fishing industry.
If you can’t find fresh seafood, then frozen seafood makes a useful alternative. Seafood medleys are a great ready-made mixture of shellfish to use in fish pies, sauces or soups. When choosing frozen seafood do make sure that the packets aren’t torn or open and that they come from well inside the freezer.
Thawing frozen seafood
If thawing your frozen seafood before cooking, then thaw it gradually overnight in the fridge or, if you’re cooking with it straight away, defrost it in the microwave.
More from the Lebanese Recipes Kitchen:
Serving a whole fish
When is fish cooked?
Perfect fish seasoning
How to spot fresh fish
How to cook fish
Carve a side of smoked salmon
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