Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Buying Fresh Seafood and other Seafood topics.
When buying a whole fresh fish, there are certain things to look for to make certain you are getting the freshest fish possible.
Eyes. The fresh fish you are considering buying needs to have bright, clear eyes. In some cases, the eyes may be rather protruding (sticking out). If you notice the eyes as being cloudy, pink, or sunken, do not buy it. These are signs of a fish that has been sitting around too long.
Flesh. When checking out your fresh fish, check to see that meat (flesh) is firm to the touch. When you press it gently, it should bounce back quickly. The flesh on a fresh fish will be elastic. As time goes on, the fresh fish will start having flesh that is soft to the touch. The flesh will also slip away from the bone.
Gills. Another indicator of a good whole fresh fish are its gills. The color should be a bright, vibrant color like red or pink. There should be no dull colors, since they are a sure sign of a fish that is not fresh. So, if you notice any brown, gray, or green colors – forget the fish. It is not fresh. Also, the gills should have no slime covering them. Slime is a no-go sign for a fresh fish.
Skin. As soon as the fish is removed from water, it starts to deteriorate. So check out its scales before buying it. The fresh fish should have scales that are tightly attached and shiny. The skin should not have any spots or markings on it that appear dull.
You also may want to ask your fish salesperson when the fish was caught and where it was shipped from. This may give you a better idea of how fresh it is. Do not lift the whole fresh fish by the tail because fish bruise easily.
Buying a whole fresh fish can be fun and informative if you know what to look for!