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Q: I freeze my bought fish, whole/filleted, but will it taste as good when cooked? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: I freeze my bought fish, whole/filleted, but will it taste as good when cooked?
Category: Family and Home > Food and Cooking
Asked by: johnfrommelbourne-ga
List Price: $3.50
Posted: 21 Nov 2006 06:23 PST
Expires: 21 Dec 2006 06:23 PST
Question ID: 784496
Living in the city I am close to Victoria Market which boasts a large
fresh fish section. I very often purchase fish of all types depending
on availability, cost, or what takes my fancy on the day.  As I am
often there at near close of market I cant resist the temptation when
they yell out offers of trays of fish for sometimes half the normal
retail price. Living by myself I am wondering  if freezing it as I do
is such a great idea in terms of  potential loss of taste when I
finally get around to cooking it. I should add that freezer burn is
not a problem as I use one of those air tight sealing systems via
small machine I have for the purpose, similar to how  food is
presented in supermarkets from overseas, e.g smoked fish etc.

 Last week for instance they were trying to offload a heap of fish
called "Leather Jacket" which I have never tried before. It was
absolutely beautiful when I immediately fried two on arriving home
with my "catch",  but I am wondering how it will be next time around
when cooked from out of the freeze??? Is there any authoriative
information on the subject available,  or otherwise well informed/well
credentialled informatio??  If there is a difference is it minsicule
or significant??

 John From Melbourne
Subject: Re: I freeze my bought fish, whole/filleted, but will it taste as good when cooked?
Answered By: omnivorous-ga on 21 Nov 2006 10:51 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
John ?

The short answer is: no, it won?t taste as good as fresh fish. 
However, with some attention to how the fish is frozen, you can retain
a high level of quality.

Agricultural extension services in the United States have done a lot
of work on the freezing process, especially in states like Alaska that
have a huge commercial fishing industry.

A good example are two citations below, which I?ll summarize:

University of Alaska at Fairbanks
Home Freezing of Fish (Stuiber, August, 1998)

Author David Stuiber recommends several steps to ensure the quality of
the frozen fish:
?	purchasing or preparing high-quality fish that is well-cleaned, firm
and with no smell.
?	freezing fish rapidly to prevent ice crystal build-up in the tissue
?	using water to prevent freezer burn, which is caused by moisture
loss and results in drying and toughening of the tissue.

However, Stuiber doesn?t recommend freezing fish in a carton of water,
a technique commonly used by fisherman at home.  In a carton of water
the fish is protected from freezer burn but the process has three
1.	the fish will freeze slowly, which we?ve already noted is bad
2.	the fish will absorb water, changing the taste
3.	defrosting a block of fish requires eating all of it at once, which
can be inconvenient

Stuiber?s recommended technique is to use zip-lock style freezer bags
and rapidly freeze the fish.  He then recommends coming back later and
adding the coldest possible water to the bag, as it does insulate
against freezer burn.

A couple of other sources add some information to this.  Ohio State
University?s extension service recommends using brine or ascorbic acid
solutions to prepare different fish for freezing:

Ohio State University Extension
?Home Preservation of Fish,? (Medeiros and Shenberger, undated)

Ohio State specifically recommends dipping lean fish (flounder, cod,
whiting, redfish, snapper, grouper, and most freshwater fish) in a
mixture of 1/4 cup salt to 1 quart cold water for 20 seconds. Fat fish
(mullet, mackerel, trout, tuna, salmon) get a mixture of 2 Tablespoons
ascorbic acid to 1 quart cold water for 20 seconds.

It is also worth noting that shellfish, fatty fish and smoked fish
should be kept in the freezer no longer than three to four months. 
Lean fish can be kept six to nine months.

Google search strategy:
freezing fish
(and a little bit of personal experience)

Best regards,


Clarification of Answer by omnivorous-ga on 22 Nov 2006 02:21 PST
John --

You can address it to me if you'd like, I have some modest fishing
experience in both fresh and saltwater fishing.  And, though I didn't
consult him for this past answer, a neighbor runs a commercial fish
processor in Alaska so we always have him available when I'm "out of
my depth".

And thank you for the kind rating and extra sum.

Best regards,

johnfrommelbourne-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $1.00
That was great Om.. ,thanks.  There was certainly good info there, for
isntance the notion of dipping fish in a brine or salty solution
before freezing was one I had not heard before.  I may  have another
fish question by the way, is it it OK to direct it to you, or have you
had enough of fish!!

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