Use your nose. When it comes to selecting fresh fish and shellfish, don't hesitate to smell it. A fishy odor is your first sign that the seafood is not as fresh as it should be. RSM has a few other simple tests for freshness every shopper should know:
The flesh should be firm and elastic while pressing it with your finger. It should feel tight and spring back without leaving a permanent indentation. Feel free to ask your fish professional to show it to you.
• A fresh fish will also have gills that are clean and red, not muddy gray or white.
• Fillets should have a firm texture with minimal flaking or separating.
• Steaks should appear moist, not dry or yellowed.
• Live lobsters and crabs should move when touched; lobster tails should curl under, the shells hard and heavy.
• Oysters, clams and mussels should "clam up," holding their shells together tightly. Oysters should sound solid when tapped.
• Shrimp should feel firm to the touch with shells snugly attached.
To preserve the freshness of your seafood until it's cooked, take it home and store immediately in refrigerator. For best results, use fresh seafood within one to two days of purchase. When freezing fresh fish, wrap it tightly in a plastic wrap and overwrap with foil or freezer paper.
Do not allow frozen seafood to thaw until you are ready to use it. Refreezing seafood will alter its quality. When storing, wrap seafood in a moisture-proof paper or enclose into an airtight container. Do not store seafood in waxed paper or plastic wrap. Frozen seafood may be stored up to 30 days in a home freezer at 0 F or lower.
It's best to thaw seafood overnight in the refrigerator in a plate or shallow pan to catch any liquid that drips out. Allow 8-10 hours (large cuts may take a bit longer). NEVER allow seafood to thaw at room temperature or place it in warm water to thaw. You can use the microwave to thaw seafood quickly by placing the fish in a microwave roasting rack to set in a shallow pan or plate. Make sure the thicker portions of the fish are positioned toward the outside rim to receive the most energy. Microwave one pound of seafood on defrost for 9 minutes for steaks or fillets and crabs 6-8 minutes. Flip fish fillets, steaks and crab frequently during thawing. Allow 1 minute of standing time between every 2-3 minutes of microwave time to ensure most even defrosting.
Deciding how much seafood to buy depends on preparation and the desired size of individual servings. The quantities listed below are good portions for an adult entree. Smaller quantities Click here to know more...