It’s no secret that the idea of having frozen seafood might be off putting to some, especially when we are always being told time and time again, by TV cooking personalities and your mum alike, that fresh is always best. But believe it or not, you really don’t have to freeze your heart against this misunderstood icy variety. Here are some things about frozen seafood that you need to know.
Frozen, Not Stale
Contrary to popular belief, frozen seafood still actually retains the freshness of a newly harvested catch. As a matter of fact, frozen seafood can be fresher than fresh! This is made possible through the development of modern freezing technology. Seafood is flash frozen within hours of being caught by using special freezers that rapidly chill the catch down to temperatures of 0 degrees C (32 degrees F). The seafood is then maintained in a temperature no higher than -28 degrees C (-20 Degrees F). This ensures that the product remains fresh for longer periods of time.
Better Than Fresh
Well-travelled seafood, fish for an instance, usually takes on an average of 2-5 days before it arrives to your nearest fishmonger or supermarket. This amount of time is enough for microbial growth to build up. This problem is easily mitigated in frozen products. Freezing essentially halts the microbial process, so you can be certain that your food safe to eat.
On top of that, frozen seafood could arguably have better quality. Frozen products typically use seafood harvested within the peak season, wherein the quality of the meat is at its finest. Thanks to freezing, peak-of-the-season quality items are available all year round.
Your Guide in Purchasing Frozen Seafood
In choosing any frozen seafood, it is important to make sure that it is sealed tight and frozen solid. Thus, never pick a stock that you might find above the freezer’s ‘Frost line’. You should also avoid buying those packages that are either open, torn, or crushed. It’s also a good idea to check for any ice crystals or freezer burns in the product. If they are present, then that’s bad news. There’s a chance that the contents of the package have already been exposed and refrozen. Additionally, frozen seafood, just like the fresh one, should not smell fishy. To ensure the best quality of frozen products, it is best to ask your trusted fishmonger, or better still, buy from JustCaught.
Preparing Frozen Seafood: The Right Way
Do not let your seafood thaw unless you are ready to cook it. It is also best to properly thaw your fish before using it. Failure to do so could make your food more susceptible to microbes. An ideal way of thawing frozen seafood is by putting it in the chiller around 8 to 10 hours. Another way to do it is by letting it thaw in cold water. You must never try to rush the process using warm water, or letting it defrost at room temperature. Doing so may ruin your rather scrumptious meal.