Quick and easy fish? Yes please!
Frozen fish is a healthy whole food to have on hand.
A lot of us have questions about frozen fish and seafood—does it taste good? How does it stack up nutritionally compared to fresh fish? However, when you actually try it, you discover how handy it can be for quick and delicious meals.
If you live far from a coast, then you probably want to be buying frozen fish, because it’s been flash frozen on the boat, or frozen within hours of catching it. When you want fish and seafood that’s top-quality in taste and texture, and you don’t want to pay a premium, purchase it frozen and thaw what you need when you need it.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of frozen fish.
Great nutrition, taste and texture
Frozen fish can be either flash frozen at sea using special freezers with ultra-low temperatures, right on the boat. Or it can be individually quick frozen with a thin glaze of ice as soon as the boat returns to land. Similarly, smoked salmon is ideally prepared close to the source of the fishery and then immediately frozen.
Fast freezing means the fish is preserved (without any artificial preservatives) at peak freshness, within hours of leaving the water. Contrast that with fresh fish that’s available in non-coastal areas, which may have been out of the water for quite a while. Freezing the fish so quickly means that nutrients are locked in, without any loss of flavour or texture.1
Packaging and storage
Look for frozen fish that is packaged in vacuum sealed plastic. How long does frozen fish last?2 You can store frozen in your home freezer and keep it at its best quality for about three monthers after purchasing it, so enjoy a delicious fish meal in that time frame. (Remember that commercial freezers in stores are different from home freezers, allowing them to store frozen fish for up to 18 months.)
How to thaw frozen fish
Thaw fish in the refrigerator overnight for best texture and taste. Slow thawing like this is safe—it means bacteria can’t grow, as it can in a package of fish set out at room temperature on the counter or in a sink. Running hot water over a frozen fish package isn’t a good idea either, because the heat partially cooks the fish, leading to a mushy texture. Read the directions to see if you should leave it in the packaging or remove it for thawing. For example, the directions for frozen smoked salmon package may be to pierce the package before you thaw it overnight in the refrigerator.
How to cook frozen fish
If you buy frozen fish and thaw it, it’s not recommended to freeze it again, because refreezing negatively affects the quality, texture and taste. Instead, visit our Let’s Eat section for fantastic recipes, and enjoy your fish in a delectable meal or a savoury appetizer. (Tip: if you’re marinating for more than 30 minutes, don’t use an acid like lemon juice or vinegar in your marinade because it affects the fish texture.) Try some of these favourite recipes, created by the DOM International recipe developer: Ginger Soy Overnight Marinated Salmon and Lemon, Fennel and Chili Overnight Marinated Salmon.
Go ahead and make frozen fish part of your meal planning—it’s a tasty and easy addition to your table.