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
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.
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
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.
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!