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How to Store Seafood
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It's always good to cook fresh seafood within two days of purchase. If that's not possible, here are some tips to help you store it.

 

To freeze fish the fillets or whole carcasses should be tightly wrapped in plastic film or aluminium foil, taking care to exclude as much air from the package as possible, then brought down to a temperature well below 0șC as rapidly as possible and held there until needed.  Air is the great destroyer of frozen fish as it causes the flesh to dry and lose its texture.  The better a package of fish is wrapped, the faster it is chilled and the colder it is kept, the better it will taste after thawing.

 

Another very successful way of freezing fish fillets, steaks and fish pieces is to drop them into a container holding very cold (but still liquid) seawater or salted water and then freeze the entire container, making sure that none of the fish flesh protrudes beyond the surface of the water or ice.  Although taking up rather a lot of space in the freezer, this method does yield a superior product.

 

To thaw frozen fish, lift the packages out of the freezer and place them in the normal section of the refrigerator for around 24 hours prior to cooking.  In cool weather the frozen fish may be covered with a cloth and left on the bench or some other shaded place in the kitchen, but thawing should not be accelerated by immersion in hot water or by leaving the package in direct sunlight.  Both methods promote the rapid development of bacteria.  Once thoroughly thawed, fish flesh should be used within 24 hours - 48 at the most and should not be re-frozen.

Always take fish out of the fridge 30 minutes before you want to cook it to get it up to room temperature. It will cook more evenly.

 

Store live oysters, clams and mussels in the refrigerator. Keep damp by placing in shallow bowl with a wet paper towel draped over them.  Don't store an oyster on its side. Every so often, it will relax and open up a bit. If it's sitting on its side, it could lose all its liquid which is vital for flavour. 

 

Keep fresh shucked oysters, scallops and clams in their own container and store in the refrigerator. For best results, surround the container with ice. See also How to Open Oysters

 

Just before opening and cooking scallops, mussels, clams or oysters in the shell, they should be scrubbed under cold water.

 

Handle all seafood with care. Seafood with bruises or punctures will spoil more rapidly.

 

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