Picture this: A sunny day at the beach, sandy feet and a quick trip to your local seafood shop to prepare for a tasty BBQ dinner. Sounds like a typical Queensland Summer day right?
Summertime means longer days, hours spent at the beach and, of course, a BBQ featuring some delicious seafood. But do you know what to pay attention to when you’re picking out your favourite seafood?
Buying fresh seafood is easy if you know what you’re looking for. Here are some simple tips on choosing and keeping your seafood fresh as well as some recipe inspiration for your next seafood feast!
Seafood food safety tips
- One way to tell whether your seafood is truly fresh and ready to be bought is by smelling it. If you receive an unpleasant odour or strong fishy smell, it is too old to be purchased. Even stronger smelling fish like salmon should never smell unpleasant, sour or anything like ammonia. It’s not going to taste good no matter how you cook it. Although it may look like fresh seafood, a strong odour indicates otherwise.
- Look at it carefully. For fresh fish, look for tight scales (firmly attached to the flesh) and shiny skin. Also, check the colour. If the colour appears dull, or if the edges are grey, don’ buy it. This rule applies to both fresh fish and other types of fresh seafood.
- Discolouration is a sign that fish, or seafood in general, has been sitting around too long. Also, look for any spots. Unless the species has spots naturally, your fresh fish and other fresh seafood shouldn’t have any spots on it.
- The best way to check for freshness when buying whole fish is by looking at the eyes and gills. Look for clear and plump eyes (not sunken or discoloured). They should look elastic and firm.
- Check for pink/red gills and intact, sturdy and shiny scales. Fish fillets should have a moist, firm texture to their flesh. Avoid those with grey gills.
- When purchasing seafood, keep chilled until placed in the refrigerator.
- Avoid cross-contamination by storing cooked and raw seafood separately.
- Consume within two days of purchase.
Inspiration calls – summer seafood recipes
- Planning a summer party? Try this easy but impressive grilled seafood platter.
- BBQ with an Asian twist. Impress family and friends with barbecued banana wrapped snapper with sambal belacan.
- Thrill your guests (or just yourself!) with simple prawn skewers served with summer veg.