How to know fresh fish

Unless you live by the sea and you buy fish that actually live in that sea, it is difficult to know fresh fish. Most of fish stores and markets are offering two types of fish: frozen or “on ice”. If they are trying to sell you a fish which is fresh caught and the country of origin is, for example, Vietnam, don’t let them to confuse you. And yet – ¬†even when the fish is completely fresh, how can you know that it is really fresh fish? And how to buy fresh fish “on ice” that will not be too old?

fresh fish market

How can you know the fresh fish?

How to check that fish is really fresh?

  • The fish should have firm and shiny flesh. When you press it with finger, the meat has to “jump” back and it should not remain hollow.
  • Smell the fish. Fresh fish should not smell “fishy”, but it must have the smell of the sea.
  • If you are buying a whole fish or you will cut off a piece of fish that still has a head, check the eyes. The eyes should be clear, no mist, and slightly convex. If you buying herring it must have red eyes.
  • Check the gills. They must be bright pink or red and wet, not dry or slimy.
  • Fish fillets and pieces for steak should be moist and without anomaly in color.
  • Meat of fish fillets and steaks should be firm. If the muscle fibers are separated and there is the gap between them or fish meat acts spongy, it is not fresh fish.
  • If there is a liquid on fish filet or steak, it should be clear, and not milky white.
  • Be careful to irregularities in color – the meat must not have brown and yellow edges.

The best advice for buying a fresh fish

If you want to always buy fresh fish, find a seller who knows something about fish and has a good reputation. Then, always buy from him. In that way you get to know each other and he will know what you want and that you ask for good quality.

fresh fish

The eyes of fresh fish should be clear, no mist, and slightly convex.


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