Buying food is not brain surgery of course. We all do it every day but when buying fish there is actually an art to it. Anybody can go to a fish counter and tell your fishmonger what you want. This quick and easy way of buying will get you what you want most of the time but true foodies want to make sure their fish purchase is of the best quality available.
Here are some tips for buying/getting the best quality fish:
- Despite your instinct to go to your local fish counter early in the day, you should ask your fish monger what the best time is to come to the shop in order to get the freshest product. All markets will be a little different. As for Big Water Fish Market, we do all of our buying and filleting in the mornings so the best time to visit our market is in the afternoon.
- Don’t be afraid to inspect your fish before you purchase. You should smell it, look at it up close and thoroughly inspect it before you buy. There should be no fishy smell and the fish should appear moist and glossy not slimy. Fishy smelling fish comes from fish that is past its prime. If you are buying really fresh fish, your fish should smell like seawater or cucumber.
- Ask questions. When buying local, you always want to buy fresh and wild caught compared to previously frozen or farm raised. A good fishmonger should have traceability of the product meaning he or she should be able to tell you when the fish was caught, when it came in to the market, where it was caught and often by whom.
- If you’re buying whole fish, make sure the eyes are clear and look fresh. Cloudy eyes are a sign of old fish. Make sure all shells of shellfish are closed before purchase, shrimp should have a firm texture with no odor and your live lobsters are still very active and lively.
- Fish should be purchased on your way home. It is best to keep your fish cool as much as possible so take it straight home to refrigerate if you can and don’t be afraid to ask for a bag of ice to keep it cool during travel especially if you have to make another stop.
If your fish is fresh enough, Ceviche and or Tuna Poke are enjoyable summer meals to beat the heat. Both Ceviche and Poke are available at Big Water Fish Market.
Cut up a 1/2 lb. Hogfish, Snapper or Grouper into bite size chunks. In a bowl mix: – Juice of 2 fresh squeezed lemons – Juice of 1 fresh squeezed lime – Juice of 1 fresh squeezed Florida Orange – Chopped onions, tri-color peppers and pickled jalapenos to taste – Salt and pepper to taste – Rough cut fresh cilantro – Caribbean Lime Hot Sauce (Available only at Big Water Fish Market) Add the fish and gently fold the fish into the citrus marinade. Chill and marinate for 30 minutes. Serve and relax.
Eat Fresh…Live well…Eat Fish Scott
Big Water Fish Market
6641 Midnight Pass Road
Siesta Key FL 34242