1. When buying fresh fish, try to purchase fish that is currently in season. When buying fish, make sure that the eyes are clear and not cloudy. The scales of the fish should be tight against the skin and should not come off easily. The fish’s flesh should be bouncy and firm, not soft, and should spring back when pressed. If the fish’s gills are still attached they should be bright red, not brown. The inside of the fish should be cleanly gutted and any traces of blood should be removed. The flesh inside the fish should be bright in hue. If it is a white fish the flesh should be bright white and opaque. There shouldn’t be any green discoloration inside of the fish. Fresh fish should never smell “fishy” but should instead smell slightly briny if it came from saltwater or like a fresh pond if it came from freshwater. 00:18
2. It is important to store fish properly. Fresh fish should be kept in the coldest place possible without freezing it. Ideally, fish should be stored in the refrigerator, on ice between 32 and 36 degrees Fahrenheit. Fresh fish should be stored “as it swims” or lying on its belly, not on its side. This helps avoid putting pressure on the flesh of the fish. When storing, pack the fish’s belly with crushed ice. 02:47
3. When purchasing fresh fish, be sure to examine the fish carefully before buying. Look for all of the characteristics outlined above when picking a fish. Avoid fish with any discoloration or breakage on the flesh. These visual cues indicate that the fish has not been handled correctly. 03:46
4. Fish is best cooked the day that is it purchased. Try not to store fresh fish overnight. To freeze fresh fish, freeze it in individually wrapped portions and freeze it the day it is purchased. 05:00
What You'll Need
- Fresh fish
The fish that Chef Carlo discusses in this video is an Alaskan King Salmon. Alaskan King Salmon is also called Chinook salmon and is the largest species of Pacific salmon. Adult Chinook range in size from 24 to 36 inches long but can be up to 60 inches in length. They are commonly around 10 to 50 pounds, but have been known to grow up to 130 pounds.
For a simple way of cooking fish, visit Chef Tynan Gibson's "How to Sear a Piece of Fish" tutorial located at the bottom of the page.
For a few great fish recipes, visit Chef Steve Sampson's "Whole Grilled Orata with Warm Bread Salad" tutorial, Chef Ricardo Zarate's "Halibut Tiradito" tutorial, and Chef Sarkis Vartanian's "Sexy Mermaid Pan-Fried Cod" tutorial located at the bottom of the page.