Although fresh fish is a delight, there are many reasons for food safety that recommend us to freeze it, before consuming it, to avoid the risks of anisakids. But do you know how to freeze fish to maintain its quality and properties? We give you the keys.
The protection anisakids are not the only reason I usually freeze the fish and as we explained Monica Carrera, of the Institute of Marine Research, also have to cook exceeding 60 ° C temperature inside.
As we do not always have the opportunity to buy fresh fish every time we are going to consume it, sometimes we buy more than necessary, portioning and freezing it, leaving in the fridge what we are going to consume and freezing the rest for when we go to cook it.
Whatever the reason you are going to freeze fresh fish, we give you our advice to do it correctly so that, when you are going to consume it, it is in perfect condition for its consumption.
These are the keys to freezing fish and seafood
To freeze fish and shellfish so that you can enjoy all its flavor and nutritional properties when you thaw it and cook it, it is important that you keep our following tips in mind:
1. Freeze the fish as soon as possible
It is important that you do not store the fish a few days in your fridge and then freeze it. For a correct freeze, the time elapsed between the capture and the frozen must be the minimum possible so that as you arrive from the fish market you must freeze the pieces that you are not going to eat in one or two days.
2. Before freezing the fish
The first thing you should do is to wash the fish well by putting it under the water tap, to remove scales and traces of blood that may have come in the fishmonger’s wrapper. If the fishmonger did not do it already, it is also necessary that you remove all the viscera. Dry the fish before freezing it so it doesn’t have moisture.
3. It is not the same to freeze whole fish than fish in pieces
Depending on the use you are going to give the fish it is convenient that you have it ready for when you are going to cook it. That is why it is better to freeze the ration pieces or those that you are going to cook in the oven whole so that they are like this when you are going to consume them.
For the pieces that you want to consume in slices, delicacies, loins, etc., it is preferable that the cuts in the desired portions and then freeze them already in pieces. Here you can learn how to chop a whole salmon for maximum use and here are the tips to correctly portion a whole hake.
4. When freezing fish and seafood, remember this tip
Store the fish and shellfish in the coldest zone of the freezer, – it is usually the first drawer – and, depending on the amount of fish you put in this household appliance, give the maximum power button for one hour, so that the food that Do not lower the temperature of what you already have frozen.
5. In which bowl the fish should be frozen
You can freeze fish and shellfish using all kinds of containers such as plastic bags for freezing, wrapping the pieces in aluminum foil, using hermetic lunch boxes or toppers, etc., according to your needs.
If you use plastic bags, it is preferable that they have zip closure or that once they are closed, secure them with rubber bands. If you choose other systems, the important thing is that you get a tight seal that prevents moisture or juices and odors from coming out …
It is important that there is not much air in contact with the fish, so if possible we recommend that you use packages or wrappings that you can empty as much as vacuum bags or containers.
6. Labeling of what we freeze
Even if you think you’re going to remember it is preferable to write down what kind of fish it is and the date it has been frozen. Keep in mind that frozen fish can be consumed up to 6 months after freezing, -as long as it is at a temperature of -18ºC- and you will know when it is convenient to take it out to be consumed within its preferred date.
Although it is best to buy the fish that is going to be consumed at the moment, there are times that we are interested in buying a whole fish because it is on offer and what makes it’s freezing advisable, at least of the part that is not going to be consumed immediately. By applying these tips to freeze fish, you can be sure that when you go to prepare it will be almost the same as if it had been fished the day before.
We already tell you that some fatty fish such as salmon can be cooked directly without defrosting beforehand, but in general, as important as freezing well is thawing fish and seafood correctly. To do this, you should not remove the fish from the freezer at room temperature but let it thaw slowly in the refrigerator for 24 hours and the next day you will have it as if it were fresh.