It cannot be denied how essential fish are to our lives especially in terms of food. It has become a significant part of every cuisine. It is a common and favored main ingredient as it is full of nutrients such as protein, saturated fat, etc., which are the components of omega 3 and can offer a lot of benefits. Few of its benefits are that it can improve the function of your heart, brain, joints, and your body in whole.
Aside from its benefits, it is also flavorful and is easy to prepare and cook in a short period of time. To maintain its benefits, a careful way of choosing, buying, and cooking it must be observed. The benefits you would gain in this food would hugely depend on these three measures. Though it may look like it is an ordinary and a simple scenario, choosing, buying, and cooking can be different and challenging case if we talk about fish.
A fish is known to have a delicate composition, so it's easy to rot and become putrid. You cannot prevent it to not rot, but you can prevent buying the rotten ones with the right guidance. Of course, you would need to know first the right way to select, to buy, and to cook your kind of fish.
This is the first step of the whole process and probably the most important and vital one. You can’t buy a fresh fish if you are not able to choose one and even if you cook the fish the right way but is unable to choose one that has good quality, the result would still be of bad quality. To select a fresh fish, you need to know how to identify one and choose only the best shop for your kind of fish.
- The market
You can only find a good quality fish at a market that also has a good status, one that can be called—reputable. It may seem a little hard to distinguish one, seeing that there are a variety of markets everywhere, but once you know how, recognizing a creditable market would just be a small fry. The definition of a great fish market actually falls to the customers, the staffs, and the smell.
It is a common sense that if a market has a lot of customers, it would mean that those people agree and favor their products and services. It is natural that when you give something good to your customers, they will also pay you something good in return-- just like their patronage. When it comes to the staff of a fish market, one should be able to answer the when, where, and how questions.
The information about the place of origin of the fish would be essential as well as the time and the method of its capture. You need to know if the fish either came from a man-operated environment (aquarium, pond, etc.) or it was from a natural resource (ocean, river, etc.). The flavor of the fish would differ depending on where it came from. Knowing the time of its capture can help you identify how long the fish has been in store.
Basically, not all fish that are caught are directly transported to the market. It can sometimes be transported for more or less 10 days before it reaches the dock. The method on how it was caught is also important. For all we know, it might be caught illegally such as in a manner of dynamite fishing. Fish that are captured using this method can pose a great danger to one’s health. All of this information is relevant and thus, it is important for the staff to be aware of these matters.
Another thing for you to identify a great shop is its smell. A great fish market should not have a smell that's too stinky and fishy, at least not so strong. If the odor of the fish is powerful in the market, it is likely that the fish there is no longer fresh as the fish is probably in deterioration . Other things that you must consider on where to buy a fish are that the shop should not be displaying a fish for a long period of time and that you should be having a difficult time to see the fish as it is all covered in ice.
- The fish
This is the most important thing in selecting, finding a fresh fish, as it is the main goal here. In order to choose a fresh fish, you have to first know how to identify them. Fresh fish is always firm in manner and if ever you press the flesh, it should be able to spring back. There are others way to identify a fresh fish, but it would vary to the type of fish you are buying.
In the market, you can find the whole round, the steak, and the fillet. Whole round fish are those, as the name implies, that are whole. You can easily identify them as they look exactly like what they are when they were caught. A fresh one should have mucus on it that would somehow form as their protective layer. If you touch the fish and it’s all slimy, it is likely that it is really fresh plus if the fish has a clear rather than a strong odor.
Also, its eyes should be clear and is bright red, the skin must be glossy, and scales must be clingy. Steaks and fillet, however, are portions of fish in which their body is no longer intact, so it will be harder to identify their freshness-- though there is still a way. You can do a lot of pressing as it would prove to be fresh when the flesh springs back. To be sure, just buy a whole round and ask the fishmonger to fillet or cut them into pieces for you.
When you are done selecting the fish that you desire, it is then time for you to pay and buy it. Remember that you can only store the fish for 24 hours upon purchasing it. If possible, bring with you a box cooler so that when you remove them in their cold setting, you can immediately give the coldness back to them. When you decide not to cook them right away, the fish should be cleaned straight away and should be stored as much as possible in the coldest part of your refrigerator which is the freezer. The temperature should be of about 40 degrees F and/or below.
It is important to cook fish in order to kill the bacteria unless you are so sure that you bought the freshest one in the market.
The best way to cook a fish though is to have a meat thermometer in order to identify the internal temperature. The FDA demands that a fish should be cooked at an internal temperature which is 145 degrees F to ensure the safety to the consumers. It is also important not to overcook fish.
The points outlined above are the basic things you should know to select, buy, and cook fish the right way. Once you do them right, you can surely enjoy a delectable fish dish that you and your family can enjoy.