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How to Store Fish

Fine Cooking Issue 90
Photos: Scott Phillips
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The first step in making a great fish dish is to buy great fish (no surprise there). So you go to the market, bring home your “catch,” and then what? Keeping your fish in prime condition is all about good storage.

Put your fish away before anything else. The less time it spends out of refrigeration, the better. So for that matter, visit the fish counter last when shopping, and ask them to pack the fish on ice if you won’t be going home immediately. Rinse fish in cold running water to help reduce surface bacteria. Pat dry with a paper towel.

Wrap fish in waxed paper and then put it in a tightly covered container. This helps the fish maintain just enough moisture and keeps any liquid runoff from contaminating other food.

Use within a day or two. Always do the sniff test—if it smells “off” or overly fishy, change your menu plans. It never hurts to follow the adage, “When in doubt, throw it out.”


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