How to buy/choose fish

One of the best pieces of advice from the Sustainable Seafood class at Relish Cooking Studio was the explanation of how to choose fish. Most of us don’t have the luxury of going out to catch our own fish and instead purchase it from fish mongers or grocery stores.

The advice? Buy a whole fish as opposed to an already butchered fish because it is easier to determine the freshness. The freshest fish will have the best taste.

How to recognize a fresh fish:

  • Touch:
    • Not slimey
    • Feels firm when pressed
  • Smell:
    • Fresh (not fishy)
  • Look:
    • Eyes are not too cloudy

The other advice was to, when possible, buy from a reputable fish monger. Why? Because they tend to know a lot about their product, such as: where it was caught, how it was caught, how long it took to ship to the location, etc. Not only will a fish monger be able to tell you about their product (and whether it is sustainable), they will be able to make recommendations if you are unsure about the fish you want to purchase.

Here are a few places to buy fish and seafood in K-W:

Since taking this class, I’ve cooked fish at home more often and with better results. I used to choose fish based on the price. Was it on sale? Or reduced because it was close to the expiry date? Don’t get me wrong, I still buy deals. It’s nice to know how to choose the best fish, and equally fantastic to know how to recognize fish that I should avoid.

Do you have any other tips for buying fish and seafood?

Leave a comment


  1. Eva Taylor

     /  April 24, 2012

    Great advise, thanks for the refresher.

  2. Thanks for the details on this subject, it will be genuinely helpful.

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