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HOW TO BUY FISH • Stockland ✘ Jamie's Ministry of Food, episode 05

Category: food

Presented by Stockland and Jamie's Ministry of Food.

 

Do you love fish but don’t cook it at home because you’re not sure what to look for when buying it? Don’t worry, buying fish isn’t rocket science. It’s about trusting your common sense. Once you know what to look out for and have developed your confidence, you’ll end up buying freshly caught fish, instead of seafood that’s been sitting on display for a couple of days.

Start by getting to know your local fishmonger. It’s important to know and trust the person and business from which you’re purchasing.

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Ask your fishmonger where they source their fish from, what they believe is good quality and whether they take an interest in how it’s produced.

Make sure to look at the fish on display and ask yourself a few questions. Have they been neatly cut and trimmed? Have they been arranged and laid out nicely or just dumped in a pile? A quick glance can tell you whether the fishmonger cares about their product.

Fish should smell of the sea so when you visit your fishmonger, if there is an overwhelming smell of fish, you can be assured the fish on offer that day is not at its freshest. Freshness is everything because when fish has just been caught, it has a fabulously delicate flavour and juicy texture.

Press the fish lightly. It should be firm and slightly rubbery to the touch. A fish that has hard, dry skin, or feels very squishy and soft is not fit for your plate.

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Fillets of fish should be shiny, look wet and be firm and opaque, with a deep rich colour. The flesh should not be flaking apart or show signs of aging or mishandling. They should not have dark red or brownish spots, or be icy, which is a sign of defrosting. The fish should feel like it’s just come out of the water.

Whole Fish should have bright clear eyes and should never be cloudy or glazed over. They should also have healthy deep red gills and the scales should be neat and intact, not partially rubbed off.

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Fish is often kept on a bed of ice which is great for whole fish or fish fillets as long as their skin-side is down. However, when the meat side of the fillet is rested on the ice, it gets frostbite so avoid purchasing fish displayed in this way.

To avoid the annoying bones that you don’t want on your plate, ask your fishmonger to pin bone your fish fillets for you. Any good fishmonger should happily do this for you.

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Some fishmongers don’t scale fish entirely so check your finished product or ask your fishmonger to double check for you. Skin is great to eat, scales are a no no!

With these handy hints and tips for buying fish in mind, visit your local fishmonger and buy some fresh fish to prepare for your family this week! Oily fish such as Salmon is high in Omega 3 so aim to eat two to three portions of oily fish each week to reap the benefits.

Jamie’s Ministry of Food believes that by teaching people to cook for themselves and by equipping them with some simple skills and food knowledge, communities are empowered to live healthier, happier lives.

Visit our How-To Series for more easy to follow video guides and get back in the rhythm of creating simple, delicious, nutritious dishes for the whole family to enjoy.


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