fresh fish en-US How to Buy and Prepare Fresh Fish <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-buy-and-prepare-fresh-fish" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="fish" title="fish" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>For many people there may be nothing more intimidating at the supermarket than the fresh fish counter. All those whole fish on ice lying alongside all those fillets and steaks &mdash; who knows where to start? How can you even tell if it's fresh? (See also: <a href="">Sustainable Seafood Choices</a>)</p> <p>This is very unfortunate, because fish is a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, and fresh fish, if done well, is so delicious. But the truth is, identifying fresh, good quality fish is actually pretty easy, once you know what to look for. And proper storage and preparation is easy, too.</p> <p>So, first things first. How do you tell if your fish is really fresh?</p> <h2>Visit a Real Fish Market</h2> <p>I am a fan of fish markets. At a fish market, this is what they <em>do</em>. I like to talk to someone who <em>knows</em> the about the fish, how to prepare it, and whether I am really getting a good deal. I think if you build a rapport with a good fishmonger, they will steer you in the right direction in order to get your repeat business. (See also: <a href="">Produce Worker's Guide to Choosing Fruits and Veggies</a>)</p> <h2>Shop Carefully at Your Supermarket</h2> <p>This is not to say that if you do not have a separate fish market in your town, you are out of luck. Many grocery stores now have specialized fish counters, and the employees there are trained in how to handle fish.</p> <h3>Take the Sniff Test</h3> <p>I would never try to buy fish while I had a cold! You need to be able to smell it &mdash; or, rather, NOT smell it. Just pick that package up, and give it a sniff. Do you smell the fish? If it is an ocean fish, it should smell like the ocean. Freshwater fish shouldn't really smell like much of anything. If it smells really &quot;fishy,&quot; odds are, it's not very fresh.</p> <h3>Poke It</h3> <p>Boing! Through the plastic, or using a food handler's glove, see if that flesh springs back if you push on it. It should.</p> <h3>Look for Clear Eyes</h3> <p>If you are buying a whole fish, check the eyes. They should be clear. Cloudy eyes mean old fish.</p> <h3>Inspect Gills and Scales</h3> <p>Two more places to check, if you are buying a whole fish: The gills and the scales. Scales should not be loose, and the gills should be clear red.</p> <h3>Where's That Fish From?</h3> <p>Where did the fish come from? If it isn't on the package, I'd ask. You want to be certain your fish was caught, or farmed, using safe practices. <a href="">Seafood Watch</a> provides handy recommendations about safe and sustainable seafood, and even has an &quot;app&quot; so you can check while shopping.</p> <h3>Keeping It Fresh at Home</h3> <p>How do you store fresh fish? Hopefully, you won't have to store it for more than two days. If you must store it, make sure you keep it in the coldest part of your refrigerator.</p> <h2>Save by Buying Whole</h2> <p>Wise Bread readers, I know, look for the most economical ways to obtain the best product. Sometimes, whole fish are much less expensive per pound (and you may be able, in some locations, to obtain them right off the dock for even less). Are you intimidated by the thought of cutting up a whole fish? Don't be; <a href="">it's easy</a>. (See also: <a href="">One Chicken, One Week of Dinners</a>)</p> <h2>Now, Cooking With It</h2> <p>Now that you have your fish, what do you do with it? Here are some of my favorites. (See also: <a href="">How to Prepare Affordable White Fish</a>)</p> <h3>&quot;Camping&quot; Trout</h3> <p>This is my husband's method. Clean fish, rinse, and drain slightly on paper towels. Beat one egg in a bowl. Put about a cup of cornmeal on a plate and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dip trout in beaten egg and then in cornmeal. Flip fish so that both sides are coated in cornmeal. Heat skillet and add oil. When oil is hot, but not smoking, place the trout in pan. When golden brown, turn and fry other side. Serve with bacon, hash browns, and coffee.</p> <h3>Grilled Salmon</h3> <p>Fresh salmon, <a href="">on the grill</a>, is fantastic.</p> <h3>Simple Sole</h3> <p>When I was growing up, my mother did the fish-on-Fridays thing. She <a href="">favored fresh sole</a>, very simply prepared.</p> <h3>Salted and Baked Sole</h3> <p><a href="">Sole baked in a salt crust</a> is not as simple as my mother's, but the results are wonderful, and the presentation is dramatic. You can try this with other kinds of fish, too.</p> <h3>Fish en Pappilote</h3> <p>That just means fish steamed in paper, with just a few herbs and some kind of acid like wine or lemon juice to make the steam and add flavor. Simple, and <a href="">so pretty on the plate</a>.</p> <h3>Steamed Whole</h3> <p>This is another dramatic and delicious presentation &mdash; a whole fish on the plate! Celebrity chef <a href="">Anita Lo's recipe</a> is based on the classic from Chinese cuisine, but with just a few ingredients, all of which you'll find at your supermarket.</p> <h3>Ahi Poke</h3> <p><a href="">Ahi Poke</a> is my favorite food, and this recipe couldn't be easier. Needless to say, your tuna had better be fresh for this preparation!</p> <p><em>I know it can be a little intimidating. If you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer them in the comments, below. Happy fishing!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="How to Buy and Prepare Fresh Fish" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Marla Walters</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink buying fish fresh fish seafood Fri, 28 Feb 2014 02:20:29 +0000 Marla Walters 4677 at Delicious Ways to Prepare Affordable White Fish <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/delicious-ways-to-prepare-affordable-white-fish" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="" alt="fish and chips" title="fish and chips" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I often hear that many people are mystified about how to choose and cook fish or how to find fish that fits their budget. White fish, of which there are many types, is usually very affordable. Even better? It's suitable for a variety of preparations. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="">How to&nbsp;Shop for Fresh&nbsp;Fish</a>)</p> <h2>What to Look for in a Piece of Fish</h2> <p>First of all, do not assume that fresh fish is always best. What you may not know is that &quot;flash-frozen&quot; fish may actually be tastier than &quot;fresh,&quot; which may have spent several days in refrigeration. &quot;Flash-frozen&quot; means that the fish was frozen, on the fishing boat, within four hours of being caught.</p> <p>If you are buying fresh fish, use your nose. Lift up that package and give it a sniff. If it smells really &quot;fishy,&quot; odds are that it is not very fresh. Also, look at the liquid in the package. It should be clear, not milky. Milky liquid indicates the beginning of spoilage. If you are buying a whole fish, check the gills &mdash; they should be bright red. Eyes should be bright and clear.</p> <p>Okay! Now that you've chosen a nice piece of fresh fish, let's prepare it. The following are fifteen suggestions for cooking fish that are tried-and true.</p> <h2>White Fish Recipes</h2> <p>First up, my own creation. If you don&rsquo;t like coconut, just leave it out.</p> <p><strong>Marla&rsquo;s Crispy Coconut Fish</strong></p> <ul> <li>2 large fillets (tilapia or mahi-mahi work well)</li> <li>2 eggs</li> <li>2 T. flour</li> <li>&frac12; cup panko crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs)</li> <li>&frac14; cup shredded coconut</li> <li>1 T. rice flour (for extra crunch)</li> <li>&frac14; t. salt</li> <li>&frac14; t. pepper</li> <li>Oil for frying</li> </ul> <p>You&rsquo;ll need three cereal bowls or small bowls.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" src="" alt="" v:shapes="Picture_x0020_16" /></p> <ul> <li>In the first bowl, put the flour, rice flour, salt, and pepper. Mix and set aside.</li> <li>In the second bowl, beat the eggs and set aside.</li> <li>In the third bowl, combine the panko and coconut.</li> </ul> <p>Method</p> <ol> <li>Dip the fillets into the first bowl and get them well-coated with flour, salt, and pepper.</li> <li>Next, dip the filets into the beaten egg wash.</li> <li>Third, roll the filets into the coconut-panko mixture and gently tap to remove excess breading.</li> </ol> <p><img width="605" height="454" src="" alt="" v:shapes="Picture_x0020_17" /></p> <p>Fry on each side until crispy. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.</p> <p><img width="605" height="454" src="" alt="" v:shapes="Picture_x0020_18" /></p> <p><strong>Sole</strong></p> <p>During much of my childhood, we had fish on Fridays. Unfortunately, my mother had a limited fish repertoire, and that meant sole in a white sauce. That experience made me reluctant to try sole for years. Sole, however, is delicious, and I am glad I got over the resistance to use it. The second recipe I&rsquo;d like to share here is for <a href="" target="_blank">baked sole with tarragon butter</a>.</p> <p>Not only is it easy, but it looks elegant if you are entertaining and want something showy. When asked to describe the flavor of tarragon, I am at somewhat of a loss. I asked this question of the good old Internet and found that I wasn&rsquo;t the only one. I am reminded of anise, or licorice...but it has a bit of sharpness, too. Sole (and chicken breasts) are really nice with tarragon &mdash; maybe because they are both mild and don&rsquo;t compete with the herb.</p> <p>When I used to be a lady who lunched, I noticed <a href="" target="_blank">stuffed sole</a> turned up on menus a lot. It still pops up at the occasional event, and I am always glad to see it. It does seem luxurious, but if <a href="" target="_blank">you clean and cook your own shrimp</a>, you can keep the cost down.</p> <p><strong>Ahi</strong></p> <p>My husband made <a href=";prop24=SR_Title&amp;e11=seared%20tuna%20with%20wasabi-butter%20sauce&amp;e8=Quick%20Search&amp;event10=1&amp;e7=Home%20Page" target="_blank">seared tuna with wasabi-butter sauce</a> for me for my birthday in 2007. I enjoyed it so much that the recipe card now features an enthusiastic expletive. Although it calls for seared ahi, I experimented and found out that it really doesn&rsquo;t matter what fish I use &mdash; this recipe is about the sauce. Don&rsquo;t be afraid of the wasabi, as it mellows into a very luxurious sauce.</p> <p><strong>Tilapia</strong></p> <p>Because it can be farmed, the global tilapia market grew rapidly. In turn, there were environmental concerns about what was fed to the fish, pen overcrowding, and so on. As of this writing, <a href="" target="_blank">Seafood Watch recommends</a>, &quot;tilapia raised in the United States as 'best choice', tilapia from Latin America as a &lsquo;good alternative&rsquo;, and tilapia from China to be avoided.&quot;</p> <p>Costco and Whole Foods carry U.S.-raised tilapia. Also, because it is farmed, and fed corn, soy, etc., it is lower in Omega-3&rsquo;s than other fish. However, it is still a healthy choice. Because it is a bargain, I use it quite a bit. In fact, I use it so often my husband and daughter said, &quot;ENOUGH.&quot; In deference to their wishes, I have eased back. This Wise Bread post contains several of <a href="" target="_blank">my favorite tilapia recipes</a>, developed while the fun lasted.</p> <p><strong>Catfish</strong></p> <p>Although some describe catfish as having a &quot;muddy&quot; flavor (well, it is a bottom feeder), once you fry the sucker, you&rsquo;ll forgive it. This Paula Deen <a href="" target="_blank">recipe for an oven-fried catfish</a> makes it healthier than a deep fried version.</p> <p><strong>Cod</strong></p> <p>I didn&rsquo;t really think I liked cod until I ordered fish and chips not long ago at a restaurant, and it was delicious. This beer batter <a href="" target="_blank">fish-and-chips recipe</a>, also from Paula Deen, uses cod (and the fryer).</p> <p><strong>Opah</strong></p> <p>If you get a chance to try Opah, I don&rsquo;t think you will regret it. I find it easy to work with and, like sole, it is mild. <a href="" target="_blank">Seared opah and tomato garlic butter</a> represents it well.</p> <p><strong>Alaskan Pollock</strong></p> <p>If we are discussing &quot;cheap&quot; fish, we cannot leave out Alaskan pollock. But I have issues, so I will be leaving the pollock recipes out. Determined to try and use this inexpensive fish, I bought a small quantity for a recipe. It looked and smelled strange. Not wanting to waste it, I put it in front of the cat. He sniffed it, sniffed it again, and walked away. Readers, if you have a good recipe for pollock, please send it my way.</p> <p><strong>Sturgeon</strong></p> <p>A Native American acquaintance once shared sturgeon with us. In all honesty, I think that sturgeon are really ugly. They can get huge and they are very prehistoric-looking. I wasn&rsquo;t too sure I wanted to eat it, but after a soak in this marinade, I was a convert. Best on the barbeque.</p> <p>Mike&rsquo;s Sturgeon Marinade</p> <ul> <li>&frac12; cup soy sauce</li> <li>&frac12; cup olive oil</li> <li>2 T. fresh ginger, grated</li> <li>1 T. fresh garlic, finely chopped</li> <li>&frac12; cup sherry</li> </ul> <p>Combine ingredients and marinate fish for 30 minutes. Grill.</p> <p><strong>Trout</strong></p> <p>Is there a better camping breakfast than <a href="" target="_blank">rainbow trout with cornmeal crust</a>? No, there just isn&rsquo;t. Make life easy and pack the breading mix in a Ziploc bag before you head outdoors.</p> <p><strong>Sand Dabs</strong></p> <p>You don&rsquo;t see sand dabs much anymore, and that&rsquo;s kind of a shame. They made a great breakfast, too, along with fried potatoes and eggs. They couldn&rsquo;t be <a href="" target="_blank">any easier to make</a>.</p> <p><strong>Halibut</strong></p> <p>When I lived in Northern California halibut was affordable, but I am told those days are now rare. I am envious of Alaskans who can eat halibut regularly. This is my favorite way to eat it. I add a half cup of roasted, salted and chopped macadamia nuts to the topping in this recipe for <a href=",1817,156177-233194,00.html" target="_blank">broiled halibut</a>.</p> <p><strong>Sea Bass</strong></p> <p>I love the Italian take on this <a href="" target="_blank">sea bass recipe</a>. Sea bass is also known as &quot;rockfish.&quot; I think it does much better in the oven than on the barbeque, where it wants to fall apart.</p> <p><strong>Flounder</strong></p> <p>This fun <a href="" target="_blank">crispy fish finger recipe</a> comes to us from Elle Krieger at the Food Network, so it's also healthier than the usual fried fish. Ketchup is the perfect dipping sauce for kids.</p> <p><em>Have a favorite fish recipe? Please share!</em></p> <a href="" class="sharethis-link" title="Delicious Ways to Prepare Affordable White Fish" rel="nofollow">ShareThis</a><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">Written by <a href="">Marla Walters</a> and published on <a href="">Wise Bread</a>. Read more <a href=""> articles from Wise Bread</a>.</div></div> Food and Drink affordable recipes fish recipes fresh fish Wed, 06 Feb 2013 11:24:33 +0000 Marla Walters 967508 at