How to Buy Seafood and When to Find the Fish You Want

HOW TO BUY SEAFOOD

Finding out if a fish is fresh

  • If a fish has bright eyes, a glistening skin and firm flesh it will be fresh.
  • A bright red colour under the gills is also a good sign, and so is afresh, salty smell.
  • Avoid any fish that is dull or limp, or that has red, sunken eyes or smells strongly of ammonia.

Ready-cooked shellfish

seafood Shells should be intact and the shellfish should feel heavy for their size. Poorer quality shellfish may contain liquid if the shells are cracked before cooking, so check by shaking them gently. Cooked prawns and shrimps should always be firm and pink in colour.

WHEN TO FIND THE FISH YOU WANT

Fish seasons vary from year to year and region to region, so there are no fixed dates, but the table below gives an idea of when you can expect to find various types of fresh fish at a reasonable price. Imported and frozen fish are generally available at other times as well.

Fish

Season

Cod
June - February
Coley
August - February
Dover sole
May - February
Haddock
May - February
Hake
June - March
Halibut
June - March
Herring
May - December
Lemon sole
May- March
Mackerel
All year, but best April-June
Monkfish
All year
Mullet, grey
red
September - February
May - November
Plaice
May-February
Salmon
May-August
Sardine/pilchard
March - September
Sea bream
June - February
Skate
May-February
Snapper
All year
Sprats
October - March
Trout
All year
Tuna
All year
Turbot
April - February, but best in summer
Whitebait
February - July
Whiting
June - February

Be flexible

Catches of fish vary with the tides, the weather and the time of year, so buy what’s plentiful and don’t stick too rigidly to your shopping list. You’ll get better value and fresher fish.

Choosing crabs

Male crabs have larger claws than females, so there is more white meat in them. On the other hand, female crabs have more and better quality dark meat inside the shell. So make your choice according to preference.

Oysters, mussels, scallops and clams

When live, the shells should be closed or should shut rapidly when tapped; after cooking they should open up. Discard any that don’t behave like this.

27. October 2013 by admin
Categories: Best Cooking Tips, Seafood | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on How to Buy Seafood and When to Find the Fish You Want

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