Fresh vs. Frozen Fish: 3 Tips for Buying Seafood

Food The List
By: Jared Cotter Posted: 10:45 PM, Jan 19, 2018

Is fresh fish better than frozen fish? Is wild fish better than farmed fish? Don’t waste time fishing around for info on how to buy the best seafood – we’ve got you covered! The List  spoke with Cedar Mulligan from Alaskan Pride Seafoods, and reeled in the top three things to look out for when buying fish.


1. How to Avoid Fish Fraud

Having grown up fishing the Alaskan waters, Cedar knows his fish and the first thing he says to look out for is fish fraud! Believe it or not, there’s actually people who counterfeit fish or label it wrong. How can you tell the difference? “The most counterfeited fish you’re going to find are typically going to be a salmon,” Cedar explains, “because the look between the farmed and wild is not so much.” Cedar also warns about white fish, like Tilapia, which is often sneakily sold as rockfish or red snappers. What’s something you can do to see if it’s counterfeit or not? Cedar says pay attention to the price points. If it’s too cheap, then it’s probably not the real thing. “You’re not going to buy Chilean sea bass for about ten dollars a pound. It costs them much, much more than that.” You can also try looking at the fish and Googling a photo to see if it matches. Gotta get your sleuth on!


2. Fresh Fish vs. Frozen Fish

 Is it better to buy fresh or frozen fish? Cedars offer his two cents: “If you see a fish just sitting on wet ice, that one is either a truly fresh fish, or it is a ‘refreshed’ fish – which is one that’s been frozen and then thawed out and put on that ice.” The downside, however, is not actually knowing when the fish was thawed out. No matter what, Cedar says to use your non-frozen fish within four to five days. Frozen fish is a good way to go; just look out for those date labels and freeze for later! “You thaw it out a month, two, or three months later, and it’s perfect. It’s like it just came out of the water.” Now that's a food hack we'll use in our kitchen!


3. Wild Fish vs. Farmed Fish

Cedar prefers to buy wild fish versus farmed fish, as wild fish tends to have a better flavor. Also, farmed doesn't always have the nutrient profile that wild-caught has. So how can you tell a good farmed fish versus a farmed fish that may not be that great for you? Cedar says to look at packaging the fish came in, and make sure there’s a blue label on it showing approval from the Marine Stewardship Council. "This label certifies the fishery was regulated and the fish is safe for consumers," Cedar reveals. Better safe than sorry!


And there you have it, folks. Now things won’t be as fishy at the market!


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