Properly Preserving your Fresh Fish! Part One

It is official!  We have FINALLY found a reputable fish supplier that gives us access to fresh seafood that is beyond delicious.  Due to the lack-of lakes or trustworthy water sources where we live, the selection of wild-caught fish is mediocre at best.  Spending $8-9/lb on fish that is old, stinky, and dry by the time it hits my mouth is frustrating.  We can’t even catch our own fish where we live…when there’s a weekly consumption limit out of local rivers and lakes I tend to be of the opinion that zero consumption is best. 

Whenever I go to Michigan to visit my family we stop at the Saturday farmers market.  It is here we discovered our fisher-friends who catch their fish in Lake Superior (the cleanest and largest of the Great-Lakes) and drive it down fresh to sell at the market the next day.  Here we stock up on many pounds of fish.  I’m just trying to get through the winter with great seafood!  Now that we can get great seafood it’s good-bye grocery stores and hello trusted high quality!  Best of all we are paying LESS per pound for superior fish…literally!
This is the company that we get the fish from, they will also ship to your house! 

Oh to live in a place where fresh fish is the norm!  Most people who don’t like fish have never had truly fresh fish that melts in your mouth.  Every time we go we stock up on Lake Trout, Whitefish, and Herring.  This last time I purchased a vacuum sealer to preserve the fish. 

In talking to the fishers we picked up on a few facts on proper preservation:

 

My 20lbs of fish after I finished vacuum sealing it!  Stocking up for the winter!
Herring, Lake Trout, and White Fish.  Can’t wait for salmon season!

1) Simply freezing the fish in bags does not healthfully preserve the fish.  The omega-3 fats will oxidize in the freezer because they are delicate.  Half the reason we go for the higher fat fish is to get these good fats!  So if our preservation methods are sub-par than it’s time to step it up!

2) To Freeze: Rinse and dry fresh fish.  Place flat on a cookie sheet or pan.  Set pan in freezer until the fish is just frozen. Remove from the pan and use the vacuum-sealer to suck out all the air and package the fish.  Freezing the fish flat allows more air to escape during the sealing process.

3) I cut the filets and package them into one-meal portions.  Label and store fish for up to two-years in the vacuum-sealed pack!

Here is the vacuum sealer I got from Meijer (not Wal-Mart): Ziploc V102 Vacuum Sealer.  I also purchased the BPA-FREE roll of bags that allows you to create your own size which is nice.  This is the cheapest one I could find but it does the job well!

I love fish.  And not only because it is so healthy for you, but we really enjoy eating it at least 3 times a week for dinner and often lunch as well.  We tend to go for the fattier fish because they are higher in omega-3’s and WAY more delicious.  Salmon is a staple here but other fattier fish include Mackerel, Herring, Lake Trout, to name the most popular.

Since we try to incorporate fish as a regular part of our diet, we have done a lot of research over the past several years to make sure we are getting the best quality. 

Stay tuned for part-two where I will briefly break down the benefits of fish consumption, and how to make sure you are getting a quality product that is beneficial to your health!

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