Cooking seafood is really exciting, considering the amount of spices and ingredients that compliment it. However, knowing how to choose fresh fish or seafood is essential for a successful and praiseworthy dish. At Pappys Devil Crab, we’ve been cooking seafood for years. Here are some thumb rules that you can to follow while buying seafood to ensure its freshness.
Observe Don’t Just Look
The appearance of the seafood can tell a lot; this is the first sign to determine its freshness. For example, when dealing with fish, you must first check the eyes. Clear, bulging and shinning are an indication of freshly caught fish, if they are sunken into the head, or appears pale with cloudiness, then it’s not a fresh pick. The gills of the fish should be your second point of concern. If it is a whole fish, the gills will most likely be red or pink, and slightly wet, dry, and slimy gills should be avoided.
It’s Time to Use Your Hands
On touching, fresh seafood is always rigid. Use your finger to press down on the fish, if it bounces back, you’re good to go. However, if your fingerprint remains on its skin, the fish is no longer fresh. Fish should have a metallic glow and not look dull and listless overall. Check the scales if they are intact and are tightly attached and connected to the skin; this is a clear indication of freshness. Cracked skin and loosened scales might indicate that the seafood is rotten.
Trust Your Sense of Smell
If you’re still unsure, taking a quick sniff of the seafood will definitely do the trick. Fresh seafood, fish, in particular, have a mild smell. If it stinks or smells fishy, you know it should be avoided. Fresh fish has a natural smell specific to the river or sea from which it has been caught. On the other hand, rotten fish has a strong odor that cannot be ignored; it spreads into your kitchen and sometimes your whole house. This pungent smell is of an organic compound called trimethylamine that is released from rotten fish.
What about Other Seafood?
A spongy texture, discoloration, and yellow slimy edges are also clear warning signs that the seafood is not fresh. Crabs, lobsters, and shellfish are sold alive, so your best bet is to make friends with a fishmonger to find out when the new catch arrives. Tap on the shell of the clams and mussels to see if it closes tighter. In the case of shrimps, choose frozen or dried form and be sure to check their rigidness before purchasing.
At Pappy’s Devil Crabs, we only use fresh seafood to provide quality and delicious meals. Our lead chef Pappy has worked for 30 years in the Tampa Bay area, making his stuffed devil crabs and mini devil crabs a favorite in Florida. Each bite is loaded with flavor and seasoning, which makes it highly irresistible! And most of all, everything comes at reasonable wholesale rates that make them a sustainable option for regular orders and catering. Call us now at 813-237-1968.