If you purchase a large quantity of fish and seafood, you will have to freeze what you’re not using immediately as fish can only stay fresh for up to two days in the refrigerator.
But did you know that it is possible to cook your fish straight from the freezer, without thawing it first?
Cooking fish straight from the freezer can save time but you have to be particularly careful in order to preserve the quality of the fish.
Here are a few steps to get your fish ready for cooking:
- Take the fish out of the freezer and out of its packaging.
- Thoroughly rinse with cold water to remove any ice that might be on the surface of the fish.
- Pat the fish dry with a paper towel or a clean tea towel.
- Brush the fish with a thin layer of olive oil or marinade, season to your taste and start cooking.
Baking, poaching or steaming are the best methods for cooking fish if you’re skipping the thawing process. Avoid pan-frying as the fish may release too much water or the flesh won’t be evenly cooked.
If you’re following a recipe, you may add a few minutes to make sure the frozen fish is fully cooked. As cooking times vary depending on the thickness of fillets, the best thing to do is keep a close eye on your fish and make sure it’s soft, flaky and evenly cooked.
Cooking oily fish from frozen
Oily fish can quickly become a soggy mess if cooked in the wrong way. If you want to cook fatty fish such as salmon fillets from frozen, choose recipes such as stews or curries where the fish is gently cooked in liquid. Poaching or gently baking would work well too.
Oily fish include Salmon, Tuna, Mackerel, Kippers, Herring and Trout
Cooking white fish from frozen
White fish is generally less delicate to cook from frozen as it is leaner, so you can bake, grill, poach, steam or even pan-fry – if you’re being careful and removing any excess water. We would still suggest choosing recipes where the fish is gently cooked so everything can be evenly cooked.
White fish include Cod, Haddock, Monkfish, Halibut, Lemon Sole, Seabass, Sea Bream
Cooking fish fillets straight from the freezer may produce a slightly different texture than fresh fish, depending on which recipes you are cooking, so we would advise on planning things ahead and gently thawing your fish if possible, in order to get keep quality at its best.
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