Buying The Best Fresh Fish
If you really want the best fresh fish you need to go to a fish market early in the morning when the fisherman are first coming in and choose your fish there. If this isn’t an option, you should try and get your fish as close as you can to that point in the processing chain. The first that tastes the best is going to come from these markets and will not have ever been frozen or had anything other than cleaning done to it. Having it like this is an experience that will change that way you view the wondrous variety of fish species that are available within the world.
No matter where you are going to buy your seafood from, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that you get the freshest food onto your plate tonight.
The first thing you will want to check is how they smell and how they are laid out for display. It is normal from some species to have a rather strong smell and to be quite red looking. However, it is important that the smell is not rotting, old, stale, or in any way putrid. The red should also look natural and should not appear to be dried or otherwise caked. This ensures that your choice has been cleaned properly and is going to give you the least trouble possible in the kitchen.
The next step is to make sure that your selection is still firm and not slimy. There should never be a time when you press on the selections at your market and they feel as if they are moving in slime. This is a sure sign that they are old and that you should go somewhere else for your seafood needs. Instead, you should get a somewhat firm texture when you press and the skin should move naturally with the rest of the piece.
You can always ask the person minding the counter when the fish was caught and how it was preserved. If you live in an area where it would need to be frozen before reaching you make sure that it was frozen when it was caught rather than after arriving at a processing plant or something similar. Any good meat counter should know where they are sourcing their food from and should generally be able to answer your questions. If you don’t like their response you can ask them to point you towards a fresher specimen instead.
Overall getting the best fresh fish is going to involve you spending a bit of time inspecting the pieces that you want to buy. It’s best to choose bits that still have the skin and scales on as they are more likely to be really fresh. You can always ask the person you are buying from if they can prepare your purchase and finish the process of skinning and filleting it for your needs. This way you are also assured of getting the exact size and shape you need for your cooking needs as well.