Frozen fish can be found at most supermarkets for purchase and there’s no question that they’re handy to have in the fridge. But what happens once the initial fun of popping the frozen fish in your mouth wears off? Are the flavor and texture significantly diminished when defrosted? Do the bones remain solidly in place? Let’s examine the facts.
The Best Way To Eat A Frozen Fish Thaw It Out Slowly
The general recommendation when it comes to eating a frozen fish is to use a pair of tongs or a fork and the heat of your body to slowly unfreeze the fish. In this way you avoid any unpleasant surprises once the food has been defrosted. So, when you’re ready to eat your salmon, you simply remove the tongs or fork and let your dinner thaw naturally. This method not only guarantees that your fish will be cooked thoroughly but it also safeguards you against any potential health concerns. The longer you let the food thaw, the more juice and moisture is restored to it, making it more digestible and nutrient-dense. We recommend letting your food thaw for about 10 minutes before serving so that all the liquid has been returned and the food is again in its original form. While this may seem like a time-consuming task, it’s actually very easy to do.
Once Thawed, How Much Will It Last?
There are a number of factors that determine how much of a meal you’ll get out of a certain amount of food after you defrost it. To start, the shorter the shelf life of your food, the more rapidly it will perish once defrosted. Frozen fish, for example, has a shorter shelf life than most other foods because it begins losing its quality as soon as it’s defrosted. Once defrosted, it immediately begins to deteriorate and can’t be stored or served fresh. The freezer also acts as a catalyst in the decomposition process, accelerating the chemical breakdown of protein into amino acids and ultimately, into ammonia and bacteria. According to Food Safety News, food stored in the freezer undergoes a 30% – 40% loss of its nutritional value in the first few days of thawing, only to further decline as it continues to defrost. In other words, while it’s still palatable, the longer you keep food in the freezer, the less you’re going to get out of it. When it comes to your fish, it’s best to eat it as soon as possible after defrosting.
How Do You Store Leftover Fish?
Although you may not have enough for another meal after you devoured your thawed salmon, you can always store the leftovers for later. Just be sure to wrap it well in plastic wrap or store it in a Tupperware container to guard against any leaks or odors. When you’re ready to enjoy your fish again, simply reheat it in the oven or microwave. Storing leftover fish is actually very easy to do and it ensures you have a ready-made meal whenever you need one. Plus, you can pull a quick meal prep trick and use the leftover fish as the base for a fresh salad the following day.
Are There Any Health Concerns With Eating Frozen Fish?
The issue of food safety becomes a major one whenever you defrost and consume frozen fish, especially when considering the short shelf life of the raw fish. We recommend thoroughly washing your fish before eating it to avoid any potential health hazards. Even though filleting the fish completely removes any potential parasites, there are still some risks associated with eating raw seafood, especially when defrosting. When choosing seafood, always opt for the frozen varieties that have been thoroughly cleaned and are frozen in a sea of ice. It’s also important to purchase only what you need and to keep an eye out for any signs of decomposition so that you don’t end up with any spoiled products. Decomposition can be easily identified by an excessive amount of slimy liquid on the surface of the food or strong odors emanating from it. If you suspect that your fish may be decomposing, it’s best to remove it from your fridge and eat it promptly to avoid any health concerns.
What If You Overcooked Your Fish?
If you followed the above advice and cooked your fish thoroughly following defrosting, you should have no complaints about its flavor or texture. However, if your fish was undercooked when defrosted, it can become dry and tough once you reheat it. If this happens, all you’ve reduced is the nutritional value and it doesn’t provide any compensating benefits. In this case, it’s advisable to either eat it as is or pour hot sauce, mustard, or lemon juice over it to refresh its taste. Overcooked fish should still be recognized as a main course staple, but in smaller portions because it has a high caloric value and low protein and dietary fiber content. Eating undercooked fish can also lead to food poisoning, so always make sure your food is cooked thoroughly before serving to avoid any possible risks.
At the end of the day, fish is versatile food that you can prepare in a variety of ways. It doesn’t necessarily need to be served fresh, but you can warm it up quickly if you need to. What’s important is that you enjoy it while it’s still palatable and that you don’t overdo it, otherwise, you’re simply wasting calories without even tasting the full benefits of this high-protein food. So, when you’re ready to enjoy a leisurely winter’s evening, pop some frozen fish in your mouth and get ready to digest some good bites!