My friends and I have taken on sport fishing as a hobby. We used to fish in lakes, from the pier, and just recently, we pooled our resources and got ourselves a charter boat. There is a different thrill fishing out in the vast sea so understandably, we are hooked to sea fishing.
Fishing inland, we did not have to worry about keeping the fish fresh. In a few minutes, we would already be home and cooking the fish. But fishing in the middle of nowhere, we had to learn how to keep the fish fresh until we get home. Thank God for charter boats that have the coolers, mesh or wire basket and the crew who can even dress the fish should we wish it. But the task of keeping it fresh when we got home was ours, and it was tricky.
Imagine, each of us could get up to 10 fishes, so if there is 6 of us ,that’s 60. We are all single people so we don’t have a large family to feed. Soon we were trading stories on how we can keep the fish fresh enough for another week. Mario wanted to keep it long enough so he can bring it to his parents house the next weekend. I love eating fish; I eat it grilled, fried, and was even excited about learning how to use Japanese cooking. So I wanted all the fishes for myself, but the problem remained: how to keep it fresh for 10 days – on the premise I eat one fish a day. I am sharing my golden secrets with you. Some I learned by research, some by experiment, some I overheard.
- Once you kill a fish, remove the guts. Otherwise, the sour bacteria-filled stomach will go sour. Afterwards wash the fish in cold water, then ice or freeze;
- If you are going to keep the fish in the refrigerator, put the thermostat to freezing point. Although of course, it will freeze the other foods in your refrigerator;
- Ice the fish. Fill a bowl with crushed ice and put the fish in it. Then cover the fish and the bowl with a cling wrap. Put the whole thing inside the refrigerator;
- Instead of icing the fish, you can use a different method of drying the fish using paper towels. Be gentle when patting the fish. Get a clean dishtowel and moisten with water. Don’t make it too wet, wring some water out if needed. Put the moist dishtowel at the bottom of the bowl, put the fish on it, and then cover the whole thing with cling wrap. Then put in the refrigerator;
- If you have a freezer, whether stand-alone or in your refrigerator unit, then you can just wrap the gutted, dressed fish in cling wrap and put inside the freezer;
- Be aware of freezer burns, which happens when the fish has been frozen for a while. It does not actually affect the taste of the fish, but it does change the appearance with its brownish spots. It does not look so appetizing;
- Gut your fish, clean with cold water, pat dry with a paper towel, put inside a Food Saver bag and vacuum seal it. This makes the fish last up to five times longer without freezer burns, with no change in its freshness; you should use a best vacuum sealer for fish like foodsaver gamesaver vacuum sealing system (learn more on the site http://vacuumsealeradviser.com/best-vacuum-sealer-for-fish-and-game);
- Before packing and freezing your fish, it is best to divide it into one-serving portions so you defrost only what you need. Do not defrost a whole pack ,remove some for cooking and return the rest back inside;
- If kept in the refrigerator, the fish can stay up to 2 days. If in the freezer, it can stay up to 6 months. If vacuum sealed and frozen, years;
- If you are ready to cook the fish, don’t defrost fish in room temperature. From the freezer, move it to the refrigerator shelf. Or, you can put the frozen fish in a bowl of cold water until it is thawed.
You can learn more about fish preservation at here.