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BiCoastal Seafood Edmonton Alberta

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 Buying, Freezing and Storing Fish & Seafood


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BiCoastal Seafood
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BiCoastal Seafood Edmonton Alberta


Tips for Buying, Freezing And Storing Fish & Seafood


Whole Fish: To buy: choose fish with clear bulging eyes and very black pupils: firm lustrous skin with tight scales; bright red gills and a pleasant sea smell.
Freezing whole fish: gill and gut fish, wrap carefully in foil, avoid piercing foil. Place into a freezer bag, remove air and seal, date and label. Freeze white fish up to 6 months, 3 months for oily fish.
Storing whole fish: remove scales, wash cavity well, scrape any blood from backbone. Gently shake off excess water, place into airtight container, or onto a plate, cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.


Fish Fillets & Cutlets: To buy: flesh should have a slightly shiny surface, be firm (not spongy) and have a pleasant sea smell.
Freezing fish fillets & cutlets: quickly and gently rinse under cold water, shake off excess water, wrap individually in freezer wrap, stack in appropriate serving portions. Place into freezer bag, remove air, seal, date and label. Freeze white fish for up to 6 months; 3 months for oily fish.
Storing fish fillets & cutlets: quickly and gently rinse fish under cold water, place fish into an airtight container or onto a plate, cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.


Smoked Fish: To buy: flesh should be firm with a pleasant smell, avoid sticky surfaces.
Freezing smoked fish: as for fresh fish, but saltiness can increase during freezing and smoked flavour decrease slightly. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Storing smoked fish: place in an airtight container or wrap in foil. Refrigerate for up to 5 days.


Crustaceans (crab, lobster, crayfish, scampi): To buy: these are available cooked, uncooked and live. When cooked they are orange in colour with no black discolouration, particularly at the joints. Shells should be firmly intact (lobster tails should be curled) and have a pleasant sea smell. When uncooked, they are known as ‘green’ though they may sometimes be another colour. Shells should be firm and have a pleasant sea smell. When live, look for active animals for freshest flavour. These must be killed as humanely as possible. We recommend drowning in fresh water, or freezing for 6 to 8 hours before cooking. We do not recommend cooking live animals as it is unnecessarily cruel and will toughen the meat.
Freezing crab, lobster, crayfish, scampi: cooked and uncooked, they should be cleaned well then wrapped unshelled in foil; avoid piercing foil. Place into freezer bag, remove air, seal, date and label. Freeze for up to 3 months.
Storing crab, lobster, crayfish, scampi: cooked and uncooked, rinse quickly under cold water, shake off excess water, place unshelled into airtight container or onto a plate, cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate up to 3 days.


Crustaceans (shrimp, prawns): To buy: these are cooked and uncooked (known as green). When cooked, they are orange in colour. Shells should be firmly intact and have a pleasant sea smell. When uncooked, they should be firm and have a pleasant sea smell.
Freezing shrimp, prawns: cooked and uncooked, they are best frozen unshelled. Place into a container, barely cover with tap water, allowing space for water to expand during freezing, seal and freeze like an ice block for up to 3 months.
To defrost, place under cold running water to melt ice then refrigerate prawns for several hours or until they reach an edible temperature.
Storing shrimp, prawns: cooked and uncooked, follow instructions as for crab and lobster.


Mollusks (mussels, oysters, clams, cockles, etc.): To buy: mollusks should have a pleasant sea smell and be firmly closed (except for the green-lipped New Zealand mussels).
Freezing oysters, mussels, clams, cockles: not recommended – buy them already frozen.
Storing oysters, mussels, clams, cockles: place mollusks into colander, cover with a damp cloth, then place colander in a slightly larger bowl; place in the lowest part of the refrigerator, use within 3 days.
Cooking oysters, mussels, clams, cockles: wash and scrub shells (remove fibrous beards from mussels by pulling firmly). Depending on recipe, cook either in water, broth or wine. As shells open, remove from heat. Shells that do not open when most have opened can be pried open with a blunt knife. If the meat is firm and intact and smells good, include with the rest. It was previously though that all unopened mollusks should be discarded but it is now known that some shells do not open because the meat is attached on both sides.


Mollusks (calamari, squid, octopus and cuttlefish): To buy: choose those with a mottled brown skin, avoid any with a dark purple-black colouring.
Freezing calamari, squid, octopus, cuttlefish: gut, clean and wash well. Wrap in freezer wrap. Place in freezer bag, remove air, seal, date and label. Freeze for up to 3 months. Even better buy already frozen!
Storing calamari, squid, octopus, cuttlefish: rinse quickly under cold water, shake off excess water, place in an airtight container or onto a plate, cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Cooking calamari, squid, octopus, cuttlefish: these go through a cooking process of tender to tough then back to tender. All require very quick cooking (e.g. 1 minute for squid and cuttlefish, and 3 - 4 minutes for octopus) to be tender. Alternatively, depending on individual recipes, if the heat is lowered to simmer and cooking time extended to about 45 minutes, the flesh will tenderize again.

[information courtesy of the Australian Women’s Weekly Home Library]




  BiCoastal Seafoods - 9731 - 60th Avenue, Edmonton Alberta - (780) 434 - 9898
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