Fish can be some of the most delicious ingredients to add to a meal, but they really shine when they’re fresh. Fresh fish don’t last long. You could get sick if you eat a spoiled one. That’s why it’s crucial that you know how to choose the best fish at the store for your own cooking.
Check the Smell
Smell is one of the best indicators of a bad fish, as it’ll show if it’s starting to spoil long before most other factors. Your fish shouldn’t have any strong smells, and if it does it should have a briny scent. If it smells “fishy” or off in any way, it’s best to find another fish to bring home.
Look at the Skin and Scales
Most fish have scales, but some have bare skin. Many fish for sale may already have their scales removed. But whether scales are present or not, you can use the skin to determine the freshness. Fresh fish skin looks bright and metallic. While every fish species is distinct, and many different fish are great for cooking, you can still count on the sheen of the skin to indicate freshness.
While this may seem a bit gross, touching the fish is one of the best ways to identify the freshness of the fish. A good fish will be firm to the touch, with little give and the ability to spring back into place after a bit of pressure. It’ll be wet, but the liquid shouldn’t be slimy as slimy skin could indicate a spoiled fish.
These methods are the best ways you can choose your fish for your cooking, which you should do before every purchase. Fish can make people very sick if they’re even a bit off, and this is how you can prevent that from happening. Once you learn and master these methods, you can cook your fish with confidence.