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Tips on Buying Fish | How to Choose Fresh Fish

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When buying fish, it is important to ensure that the fish is fresh and properly handled. Aged fish can breed bacteria and accumulate toxins that poses health threats. Knowing what to look for makes buying fresh fish easy.  Here are tips to help you out:
Fresh Fish

Image from delish.com


  • Check the eyes.  Look for bright, clear eyes. The eyes fade quickly into gray dullness as it loses freshness.  If the eyes appear milky, cloudy, faded or dull, the fish is probably several days old and nearing its expiration date.
  • Look at the scales and skin of the fish.  The scales should be bright and look metallic and clean. Look out for missing scales, dried out skin, or presence of discolored patches. Fresh fish should appear moist and firm. The tail of the fish should also be stiff.
  • Look at the gills. They should be a rich red. Make sure there is no slime present. Dull or brownish gills indicate the fish will start to turn soon.


  • Observe the odor of the fish. Fresh fish should smell like clean water or similar to salt-water or brine. Fish that smells sour, overpowering or rank indicates that it has spoiled or is about to spoil.

Cooking Tip of the Day

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In barbecuing, soak wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes before using them so they won’t burn during cooking.

How to Steam Fish

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Steamed Fish with Mayonnaise

  1. Season the fish with salt and pepper.
  2. Wrap the fish with aluminum foil.
  3. Add about 2 inches (5 cm) of boiling water to the pan.
  4. Fit the steamer over, making sure it doesn’t come into contact with the water, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. 
  5. Check the level every 15 to 20 minutes and add water or stock as required. Make sure not to let the water boil dry.
  6. Coat the fish with mayonnaise.
  7. Garnish with grated carrots and hard-boiled egg.

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