Most believe that buying fresh fish is better than frozen, and this may be attributed to consumer preferences. After all, when eating at fresh seafood restaurants and you order your favorite albacore tuna steaks, creamy dory fish fillets, cocktail shrimps, or other types of fish, you want your next source of protein to have that fresh and classic taste.
But here's something you probably didn't know—frozen raw fish is just as good as fresh fish! Here are 4 reasons why consider frozen fish on your next market visit.
#1: Frozen fish are just as nutritious as fresh fish
One myth about frozen fish products is that it isn't as nutritious as their fresh counterpart. However, a wide range of raw fish, especially when for export, undergo a commercial process called flash freezing. This ensures that the freshness and nutrients of the fish are still intact, including all essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, riboflavin, and vitamin D. Freezing fish can also help in killing parasites and harmful bacteria that may be present.
Pro Tips: When eating raw meat, whether fresh or frozen, such as sushi and sashimi, take note of the following:
- Make sure there's no strong odor especially when it has been exposed to warm temperatures.
- Avoid eating raw meat if you’re pregnant or someone with a compromised immune system to help stay away from foodborne bacteria.
#2: Frozen fish is more environment-friendly
Fish needs to be transported and it's a carbon-intensive process. Fresh raw seafood requires effort to keep the transport safe and timely and is usually done by air. On the other hand, frozen seafood doesn't require the same urgency. Frozen fish products can be delivered by land or sea. This difference in transportation has a huge variance in its carbon footprint and environmental impact.
Did you know? Transporting fresh fish by air emits 500 grams of CO2 per metric ton per km, and transporting frozen seafood by sea only emits about 40 grams of CO2 per km.
#3: Save more money by buying frozen fish
Buying fresh fish can be costly, and one of the main reasons is because of the effort they put in to make sure it's fresh. Fast transportation costs money, and it reflects in the prices of fresh raw seafood.
Another way you can save money with frozen fish is with its much longer shelf life. Buying fresh fish off-season makes it cost higher due to the low supply, but with longer-lasting frozen fish, you can get it for the same price almost all the time.
#4: Eat your favorites all year round with frozen fish
Seasonal food isn't limited to fruits and vegetables. Fishes also have harvesting seasons, especially when being caught directly at sea. While eating fresh fish during harvest season could cost less because of its high supply, it doesn't last very long. Flash-frozen fish can be kept in your freezer for as long as you want. And although its quality depletes over time, you can still make fresh food for up to a year. This way, you can buy your favorite frozen fillets or sushi-grade fish and enjoy them all year round.
Good-to-know stuff about the proper thawing process:
- Always avoid rapidly defrosting your fish in hot water, or leaving it out in warm temperatures to prevent the rapid multiplication of bacteria.
- Dispose of your raw fish when there's already a strong odor. Some best practices include transferring frozen fish from the freezer to the refrigerator overnight while making sure it's in a leak-proof container so it doesn't contaminate other fresh food.
- For a faster thawing process, you may also place your frozen food in an airtight package and submerge under cold water or run it under cold running water.
Finding the Freshest Frozen Fish
So why consider frozen fish? It's healthy, it helps the environment, it's uncostly, and it lasts longer. Frozen fish is fresh fish too! Next time you decide to buy raw seafood, remember the benefits of buying frozen products. Buy frozen fillets, white fish, or yellowfin tuna and enjoy anytime. You may even try doing a blind taste test to compare fresh and frozen food. Also, always buy your frozen food at credible seafood counters like Fish n' Chix to help make sure that the frozen food you're buying underwent the right process so it maintains its freshness.
Head over to the Fish n' Chix website and order your next batch of fresh, frozen seafood now.