Adding fish to your diet is a great way of getting healthy nutrients and losing weight since fish is low in calories. There are many delicious ways to prepare fish, but it is essential fish is fresh so it tastes its best. Here are four tips for making sure you buy the freshest fish possible to feed your family.

When Buying Whole Fish

If you go to the market or a fishmonger to buy a whole fish, you can tell if it’s fresh if the eyes are clear, bright and haven’t sunk in. You should also touch the fish to see if the scales come off or if they are firmly attached, which they should be if the fish is fresh. A fresh fish with smooth skin should have a moist, shiny skin, and its flesh should feel firm.

Fish Fillets

Many fishmongers will prepare a fish for you by scaling or skinning it, filleting it and sometimes cooking it for you. If you choose to buy fish which is already filleted, you can tell if the fillets are fresh if the flesh feels firm to the touch. If you’re buying a white fish, the fillets should be translucent and shouldn’t have any discoloration. Fresh fillets will also appear neatly trimmed, and should be packed together tightly with no gaps between them.

Fresh Frozen Fish

If you decide to buy already frozen fish, you should only buy it if the packaging isn’t damaged and is still frozen hard. There shouldn’t be any sign of thawing, and the packaging should not have holes in it. Even small holes will cause freezer burn on the fish, which will not taste right when it is prepared on the stovetop or baked.

Storing Fish at Home

When you bring home fish from a fishmonger in Twickenham, it is important to store it correctly to prevent spoilage. If you have bought freshly-caught fish, you can store it on ice for up to 12 days, but it usually tastes best within five days. However, if you’re storing fish in your refrigerator, plan on using it within one to two days whether it is whole or cooked.

Smoked fish will last a bit longer in the refrigerator, but only for two or three days. If you decide to freeze the fish you’ve bought, whitefish and smoked fish can last up to three months in the freezer before the taste is affected. Oil-rich fish and cooked fish should only be frozen two months at the most, and shellfish should be in the freezer for only a month before it is thawed and prepared.

If you want to buy fresh shellfish, make sure the shells are not cracked or broken. The lobsters and crabs should also have all their appendages, and mussels and oysters should be tightly closed or, if tapped, should close their shells. By using these tips, you can buy fresh fish to prepare for your family’s table.