When someone talks of fresh seafood and what constitutes as “fresh”, everyone has their own theory. There are so many parameters and variables that go through when determining a fish condition. Let me go through the most important ones:
It’s pretty straight forward. Rotten fish has a very distinct bad odour that you cannot avoid even with washing or cooking. Do not risk it. If it smells bad then you better through it away.
Touch – Firmness:
Fresh fish has a very tough, bouncy, moist flesh. To test it just press it with your fingers and count the time that it needs to return to its original position without any “finger prints”. If it’s fresh then it shouldn’t take more than a couple of seconds.
Colour of the skin should be shiny and in no case dull or blurry. The inside of the gills can be from light pink to bold red. Not brown, grey or black.
The eyes should be shiny with black pupils although sometimes can be blurry. This usually depends on the stress the fish exerted while it was being caught or stored immediately after exiting the water.
If for any case you are uncertain about the quality of the fish then just simply through it away or choose another one.
Now, these signs could be useful while you are shopping for seafood but you can still identify a bad one just before you cook it or during the cleaning process. If the bones slip off easily or the skin comes loose with a light pull then there is something “fishy” about it. Touch it and rub your fingers together; if you can identify a slime like substance then stop and through it away.
Always make sure you buy from reliable sources, support local markets and the local community.
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