Fish Care

GENERAL CARE

To help you care for your fish, and maintain its high quality, here are a few tips:

  • DO keep the fish cold at all times.
     

  • DO lightly rinse and pat with a paper towel before cooking or freezing. DO NOT immerse the fish in water, even briefly, as it will get mushy.
     

  • SALMON: If you chose fillets, the few remaining lateral bones can be removed prior to cooking with a good pair of needle-nosed pliers. Firmly grip the bone, while pressing on the surrounding flesh with your free fingers, pulling in the direction of the bone's orientation. These bones can also be removed after the fish is cooked, with less effort.
     

  • ALBACORE: If you chose fillets, the few remaining bones and dark red lateral stripe can be easily cut out prior to cooking, or flaked away afterwards. The darker flesh has a stronger flavor, but you may like it. It will not affect the flavor of the surrounding white flesh. If you don't intend to consume your fish within about five days, DO freeze some or all of it, sooner rather than later.


FREEZING

  • Salmon and albacore may be frozen in water, but we DON'T recommend it. The tender flesh will absorb water and expand during freezing, turning it mushy. Freezing in water works better with firm white-fleshed fish such as rock cod and halibut.
     

  • DO freeze your fish in airtight packaging. DO protect the fish well with multiple layers of plastic wrap AND a freezer bag or butcher paper. Some customers use "Foodsaver" type vacuum bags.
     

  • DO freeze meal-sized portions. DO NOT freeze extra large containers of fish as it takes too long for the center to freeze, allowing quality to deteriorate. Also, packages freeze from the outside in, and food expands when frozen. This pressure may turn the center of the fish soft when thawed.
     

  • DO use frozen fish within a reasonable amount of time. Experts recommend using frozen fish within three months. Customers report good success with fish that was frozen for longer than three months, but only you can judge if fish frozen for a longer period meets your standards. Fish will maintain its quality longer in a freezer maintained at zero degrees.


COOKING

  • DO NOT OVERCOOK! The biggest mistake people make in cooking any fresh fish is to overcook it! When fish is overcooked, it loses moisture and flavor. DO check your fish as it cooks and remove it from the heat source when the very center is still slightly rare. Mark likes to say, "If you think it isn't quite done, it probably is!" The fish will finish cooking in the few minutes it takes to get it to the table. Cooking methods and other factors will affect cooking times, so DO NOT rely solely on a timer.
     

  • Grilling is a favorite method for preparing both salmon and albacore. For best results, barbecue grills and baskets need to be well seasoned and generously coated with nonstick spray. DO keep your fish moist during grilling, by basting during cooking, or marinating in advance. Barbecues can vary greatly in temperature, which will affect cooking times, as will the size of the portions you are cooking.
     

  • DO experiment! Salmon and albacore are each supremely versatile as a fresh product, and can be prepared in many ways. Try substituting either in your favorite chicken, beef, or pork recipes. Leftover cooked salmon or albacore is excellent. Try it in soups, salads, or on sandwiches. Cooked fish may also be frozen in meal-sized quantities, defrosted as needed, and used like canned fish. You are limited only by your imagination!