The freshness of fish can make or break a fish preparation, even Indian masala clad ones. How do you choose the freshest fish — I was intimidated at first, my mom or dad who grew up on the coast always had bought the fish. I made a few mistakes at first but after a few times I understood what to look for when you want the freshest of fish.
Here are some tips on getting the freshest of the fresh:
Smell: Fresh fish should never smell unpleasant. A slight scent of the sea is common.
Overall appearance: Fresh fish should be firm to the touch; when no longer fresh, the flesh becomes soft and tends to fall apart. The appearance should be shiny and wet.
Gills: Located at the base of the head, they should be pale red or pink, bright and moist, not sticky or discolored. Checking the gills is one of the easiest and most effective ways of confirming freshness.
Eyes: These should be clear, bright and shiny. Stay away from gray, opaque eyes.
Flesh: This should be firm. When you press it(yes you will have to touch the fish) it should spring back to the original form.
Buy whole fish – It is easier to determine the freshness of a whole fish rather that The fish seller will fillet it for you the way you would like.
To keep fish fresh for longer, transport it in an insulated cooler bag. As soon as you get it home, carefully remove any guts, rinse it under running water then pat dry. Ideally you should put the masala on and cook it the same day. If that is not possible then add salt and haldi and store in the refrigerator until the next day.