ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Food and Cooking»
  • Culinary Arts & Cooking Techniques

How to Buy Fresh Fish. Signs of Freshness

Updated on August 29, 2009
http://www.flickr.com/photos/macronin47/62557111/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/macronin47/62557111/

If you're like a lot of people, you're a little intimidated by the thought of buying a whole fish, but in reality, it's a lot easier to come home with fish that you know is going to be fresh and tasty when buying a whole fish, than when buying pre cut fillets, that look beautiful plumped on ice, but may have been sitting there for a while

A whole fish reveals it's true age, which for buyers of fish, is a very lucky thing, cause' cooking tasty seafood meals definitely begins at the fishmongers (or wherever you happen to buy fish – there not be a monger involved anymore….).

OK, so you're at the store and you are looking at some whole fish. Here are a few tips for picking a fresh and tasty one.

How to Choose a Fresh Fish

  1. Look at the eyes. Very fresh fish have clear eyes, which are bulging. Older fish have cloudy eyes that are sagging inwards. Saggy, is not good.
  2. Smell the fish. Fish that smells fishy is old. Fish that smells like the sea (briny) is fresh.
  3. The body should be covered in a kind of "slime". Now, normally we don't think of slime as a good thing when selecting our dinner, but fish that sit around on ice for a while, dry up and lose their sea coating.
  4. The fish should feel plump and firm. Press in on the body of the fish; the flesh should bounce back. If your finger leaves an indentation mark that stays, then the fish is older.
  5. Open up the gills (or, have the guy behind the counter wearing the plastic gloves do it for you. Here in Asia, where I currently am, buyers inspect a fish thoroughly and personally before purchase, and this includes a lot of touching. In America and other places, your grocer may frown on this level of physical contact!). Gills that are bright and dark in coloration are a sign of fresher fish. As the fish ages, the gills get more pale in color, browner.

Fish that is caught and then prepared and stored correctly (on ice or frozen) on it's way to market will taste better than more recently caught fish that was stored improperly. Much of what you see on display at the fish counter, even whole fish, was likely once flash frozen. This is OK, even good, but the fish will continue to deteriorate once thawed and sitting on display.

Buying frozen fish is actually a very good way to ensure a fresh product, but this may not be as convenient when stopping on the way home from work to find something for dinner.

Good luck!

A Video Guide to Fresh Fish Buying

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Dr.Sushil Mathur 6 years ago

      Good information I would like to add more Firm flesh,shiny,firm tail not limping,no slime as slime/mucous shows infection on skin resulting in mucous secretion by fish,Skin without white or Black spots as they are sign of white spot disease and microsporidians cause black spot diseases.If you see live fishes for purchase see that fish is swimming properly it is not rubbing the wall due to irritation of some parasite,better skin the fish before preparation as one get rid off external parasites.In India we generally take fish in the months which have (R) in it like Septembe(R).and don't buy in May,June,July,Aug.due to breeding season and fish are likely to get infection.in these months and tempt conditions favour diseases because of poor refregeration facilities for this flesh.

    • The Good Cook profile image

      The Good Cook 8 years ago

      I like eating fish but it has always been the one thing I absolutely will not cook - I hate the smell. Good information for others though.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      This is very informative. I have a place right around the corner that sells fresh fish like the ones you mentioned. Thanks again, John.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is used to quickly and efficiently deliver files such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisements has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)