1. How to choose right
The eyes: These must be round and protruding, not sunken.
The gills: Lift the head at the gills and examine the colour. A bright red colour is a sign of freshness. If the gills are greyish, then the fish is old.
The skin: It must be smooth, shiny, supple, and unlined (not like crêpe paper).
The body: Pick up the fish by its tail and shake it back and forth. The body must swing in a supple motion and follow the movements of your arm. If the fish hangs stiffly and is bent like a banana (especially snoek), it is no longer fresh.
How to remove the smell of fish from your hands
Pour a little vinegar into your hands. Rub together and rinse.
2. How to keep fish fresh
As soon as you get home, season the fresh fish lightly with Ina Paarman’s Fish Spice or Seasoned Sea Salt. The fish need not be salted again during cooking. Place it in a plastic bag, excluding the air and seal. Place this fish-in-a-bag in a bowl and empty a tray or two of ice cubes over it. Alternatively, place one or two ice bags on top of the fish.
Return the fish to the refrigerator (ice cubes or bags will keep it slightly colder than refrigerator temperature, without freezing it).
3. How to keep fillets flat during frying
Slash through the skin or if the fish has been filleted, the skin side of the fish fillet will have a silvery sheen where the skin has been removed. Slice lightly with a very sharp knife in a diamond pattern through the thin muscle layer. Cut only about 2 mm deep. This will prevent the fish from curling when the muscles tighten during cooking.
4. How to prepare prawns
- Split the raw prawns through undersides. Leave head intact.
- Wipe away intestinal tract. When cooked, prawns will bend up into butterfly shapes.
5. How to cook mussels perfectly
Suspended from ropes, cultivated mussels are grown at mussel farms situated in the sea e.g. at Saldanha. As these mussels contain no sand, there is no need to strain the juice after cooking them.
Mussels are closed when fresh. Cook them briefly (5 -7 minutes) in white wine and garlic. Season only with black pepper (lots of) the juices are salty. Strain juices and add cream. Serve with bread to mop up delicious juices.
See our website for many delicious mussel recipes.