There are thousands of healthy seafood recipes for preparing seafood in the tastiest and most nutritious way. The quality matters, and picking out the best seafood is very important. Here are some tips for making the process of choosing it from the stalls easier and more pleasant.
Where to Buy Seafood for Healthy Seafood Recipes
While buying seafood of good quality, it is vital to consider reputable fishmongers or retail store in the neighborhood. The reason lies both in the food products and good service. If customers are allowed to evaluate the quality of seafood themselves, such a store or stand can be regarded as a reliable one. Moreover, if a salesperson is ready to answer all the questions about where the product had come from, when it was harvested, and how long it has been shipped, such a seller is worth trusting.
A potential customer may also make an inquiry by doing some online research or asking people. What is important to know first, is whether the seafood has arrived from the nearby areas, or if it has come from some distant country with 10 or more days of shipping when the quality is sure to be lost.
Inspecting the Seafood Packaging Is Important!
To ensure that the seafood is of really good quality, and it will be worth purchasing for some interesting dish, for example, seafood salad recipe, it is reasonable to check its packaging. It does not matter whether it is fresh or frozen; its container should be in good order. For example, the container for fresh seafood should be full of fresh ice (of corresponding temperature not higher than 32° F). The ice must not have any stains or dark spots indicating that it has not been changed for a long time, or that this container and its content was frozen first, and then thawed, and frozen again.
As for the frozen seafood (in some cases, for instance, with scallops, it is highly preferable), a customer should have a close look at the packaging itself. It should not have obvious holes, or breeches, or large ice crystals to show the same freezing and thawing process in a row.
Checking for Signs of Poor Quality in General
Everyone who is looking for seafood of the best quality for well-developed healthy food recipes needs to check it for evident signs which could signal that something is wrong with it:
- loss of color;
- strange or strong odors;
- surface drying;
- stains and spots;
- freezer burn signs.
These signals can go together, or just one of them can be seen to tell the seasoned customer about the necessity to look for another store.
The signs of poor or good quality can also be observed in the labels of seafood. There are some organizations and committees that are ready to put their name on labels to tell consumers about the good quality of the product. There are also certain certifications, notices about prizes or awards which seafood manufacturers often readily place in their labels. In addition, checking the dates of manufacturing and product expiry is of vital importance. There is no need to risk buying expired foods that can be harmful to health.
One more tip is about the country of origin in the label. If it is located far away from the customer’s place, the damage to the quality can be caused by long distances and much time for shipping. It is always better to buy seafood produced in the local area.
The last tip is about the place where fish or shellfish have been harvested. This is especially important for those who prefer to buy fresh fish at the marketplaces. The matter is that many individuals catch fish in the zones that are highly contaminated. That is why asking about where the fish comes from can save much effort and money.
How to Evaluate the Quality of Different Types of Seafood
The seafood which is accessible in the food stores and supermarkets is quite various by its types. To evaluate its quality, there is a need to know the main points to consider for each type of such products for healthy seafood recipes.
These should be evaluated by their look. Fresh fish is always of bright color, with full protruding eyes and bright red or pink gills. If the gills are grey and dull, while the eyes are cloudy and sunken, the fish are not fresh at all.
The flesh of fresh fish is elastic (it is easy to check by pressing it with a finger – fresh flesh always springs back while the outdated meat is soft, and the finger leaves its marks in it).
The skin is also an important indicator. In fresh fish, it is shiny and bright, with the scales adhered tightly to it.
Steaks or fillets should have firm and elastic flesh. They must look moist and stainless. If they are prepackaged, there should not be too much liquid in them. The signs of reddening or bruising may signal about retention of blood, so the quality is not very high. High-quality steaks and fillets need to be translucent.
If oysters or clams are sold live, their shells must be tightly closed and moist. The fresh-shucked shellfish should have plump and oily meat. The odor of both must not be strong or disgusting.
These are mostly sold fresh-shucked because they are rather perishable. Their odor is sweet, and the fresh meat has an elastic texture. Their color is creamy white, or they may sometimes have some tan or pink hues.
Crabs and Lobsters
These always display the movement of their legs and a tightly curled tail if they are alive. If they are cooked, their color should be bright red. If they are picked, their meat is white, possibly with some red tints. The odor, in any case, must not be disagreeable.
If they are raw, their meat is elastic and firm, with a mild pleasant odor, and translucent shells are of a greyish green or pinkish tan color. The shells must not have black spots or dry blackened edges. The cooked shrimp should be of white color with pink or red hues.
Their eyes need to be clear and protruded as in fresh fish, the meat – very elastic and firm, while the skin should be of a cream color and undamaged. The squid has pinkish skin and yellow flesh if they lose their quality.
These are the main tips to consider while choosing seafood for healthy seafood recipes. There are some other things to regard while opting for it. The more experienced customers are, the more minor chances will be that they can buy the bad-quality seafood.