There are many good reasons to freeze fish. Fisheries are usually seasonal – you might not find what you love right when you want it. Also, you can usually purchase a whole fish and have it cut for a better price than just buying small amounts at a time. (Yes, we do offer whole fish. Let us know by email or text so we can get it ready for you). So if you want to have Super Fresh Fish that tastes just as Super Fresh as the day we cut it as it hits your dinner plate, a good bet is to store & freeze it properly.
I’ll not bore you with all the admonishments of how to be sure you are choosing the freshest fish available…. I think we’ve got that covered.
But once you get it home – there are some pretty simple things you can do to keep it nice until you are going to eat it. Whether it’s this week, or a bit down the road if you’ve chosen to freeze it.
First, let’s assume you want to keep it fresh and eat it sometime within a week. I know it seems odd to say week old fish is great. But if you’re working with our fish it’s a bit different than picking up something from a grocery store. Grocery store fish has been landed like ours, but then unloaded & sold to a wholesale market who has in turn sold it to a distributor who has in turn then sold it to said store. There is a lot more information we could cover here about frozen, fresh-frozen and previously frozen product available and what all that means for taste…. but I am trying to stay on topic here (not my strong suit) so I will cover that stuff in a later post.
So you get your fresh fish home and don’t have time to eat it until, let’s say Wednesday. No worries. Seriously, no worries. This is all you have to do to keep it Fresh Fish Fanatics fresh until then:
1. Take it out of the bag and pat it dry with a paper towel. You will be tempted to rinse it off, but just don’t. Up until now your FFF fish has only been in contact with salt water and it prefers to stay that way. So just pat it dry with paper towels. Do remember to be gentle – the fillets (especially some of our more delicate fish like Blue Fin, Albacore etc) can tear apart or bruise easily.
2. Wrap the fillets tightly in plastic wrap (like you’d see in a Sushi bar). Tight, so there’s no air. But don’t go crazy and break the fillet or bruise it up.
3. Put the whole thing in a ziploc type bag (you can just rinse and re-use the one it came in), being careful to get as much air out as possible. I usually mark mine with type of fish and date.
4. Put some ice in a bowl or container that will fit in your fridge nicely and lay the wrapped/bagged fish in there and refrigerate it. I will sometimes use my meat chiller drawer which has a temp adjustment and put it on the coldest setting. You might consider turning it everyday. You will also need to drain the water and replace the ice if you are keeping it until later in the week.
5. When you are ready, cook, eat and enjoy! Oh, and send FFF a note telling us how awesome your dinner was… 🙂
OK, so on to freezing it:
1. Do the same steps as listed above through #3.
2. Stick it in your freezer.
Yep, it is that easy. Just a few notes: if you are freezing it, do it RIGHT AWAY. The faster you get it tucked into it’s little plastic wrap bed and get it frozen, the better it’s going to taste.
Also, the vaccuum type bags that we’ve tried in the past are awesome! Just be sure to pat your fish dry first. There are many varieties on the market and all of the ones we’ve tried work well. A simple one that is inexpensive (although a bit labor intensive if you are doing LOTS of fish) is the Ziploc brand one with the little hand pump. We’ve found them at WalMart and Ralph’s, but not Vons. If you buy lots of fish at a time, for sure you should check into something more like the FoodSaver. Again, the key is to pat the fish dry first.
Defrosting: Just put it in your fridge for about 24 hours – or a speedy way is to leave it packaged up and put it in COLD water for a bit to defrost – never warm water or just sitting out on your counter.