Tips and tricks on how to keep fish fresh while fishing for longer when we do not intend to freeze it at home.
Although nutritionally speaking, frozen fish does not have much to envy fresh fish, it is undoubted that, in the case of many fish, the quality of the latter is superior. However, fresh fish is an extremely delicate food that spoils very easily if we do not treat it properly.
In fact, it is the latter that many times puts us back when we would like to prepare a fish on Sunday, but we have to buy it on Friday or Saturday. Although it is true that fresh fish is at its best when it is consumed fresh from the day, it is also possible to enjoy it after a few days as long as a series of rules are met.
Tricks to keep fish fresh while fishing for longer
From what is the best time to buy, to what is the best position in the fridge. Small details that, if taken into account, will help us keep the fish fresh for longer.
Who gets up early, God helps
So the saying goes, and getting to market early gives you the opportunity to buy the best. Although it is true that going at the last minute you can find a bargain at a better price, if you want to make sure that you are going to be able to choose, it is best to approach the fishmonger as soon as possible. If you go to the market, although it is most likely that you will end up buying in your trusted position, it is always good to take a look before to see what others offer us.
Never start shopping for fish
The fish should remain as short as possible without refrigeration, so you should buy it just before returning home. After having read the previous advice, it is easy to come to the conclusion that if you want to ensure the freshest fish and that it lasts in the best conditions, it is best to go to the fishmonger, return home with the fish, prepare it for its optimum conservation, leave it in the fridge and then go out to buy the rest of the things we need.
Take into account the origin of the fish
For this, we must check that the fish is labeled and, since by law it must be so, if it is not, it is a good reason to reject it. If the fish is labeled, a simple glance at where it comes from will give us an idea of the time that has passed since the catch and, therefore, the degree of freshness. A fresh inshore or coastal fish is not the same as one from deep-sea fishing.
Avoid bumps during transportation home
Just as it is important to return home quickly with the fish so that the cold chain is not compromised, it is necessary to ask the fishmonger to wrap the fish properly and to be careful when transporting it home so that it does not carry blows that they could cause unwanted changes in the texture of the meat.
We can ask the fishmonger to make it for us or make it ourselves. It consists of removing the scales, bleeding the fish well – a very important step since it slows down the decomposition rate -, gutting it, and washing it well under a stream of cold water.
If the cleaning has been carried out by the fishmonger, this final wash should be repeated when you get home, because on the way the water from the previous wash will have run off and will have been mixed with traces of blood, so a second wash will be great.
Keeping fish in the fridge at home
The most important thing is that the refrigerator is not too full and that we are not opening and closing the door all day with the consequent changes in temperature inside, since so that our fish can be kept in good condition for 2 or 3 days We must ensure that the temperature remains constant above 0ºC and below 4ºC. Likewise, we must prevent the fish from drying out in the fridge or ending up in the water, so what works best and what any fishmonger will recommend is that you wrap the fish in a clean and damp cloth and moisten the cloth as it dries up.
In the case of small fish such as sardines or anchovies, you can also add a little coarse salt to help preserve them, since the salt creates a hostile environment that makes it difficult for bacteria to grow. Of course, then you have to remember not to add salt again when consuming it.