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How to choose fresh fish and seafood


Choosing fresh seafood is easy once you know what to look for. Find out how to choose the best and freshest fish and seafood at your fishmonger, then try some delicious recipes made with seafood.

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How to choose fresh fish and seafood

In Australia we're lucky to have access to beautiful local seafood all year around. Once you know how to tell if seafood is fresh, you'll be ready to enjoy an abundance of seafood and new recipes. Follow these easy tips for buying the best seafood.
  1. Choose a fishmonger that has a high turnover. Ideally, seafood should not be sitting in water and the premises should smell fresh and pleasant. You can find your local fishmonger here.
  2. Seafood will stay fresher for longer when it’s kept cold. Make seafood your final purchase before you go home, and use an insulated bag or esky to keep your purchase cold. You can also ask your fishmonger to wrap up a bag of ice with your seafood.
  3. Once you get home, keep your seafood as fresh as possible by storing or freezing it properly.
  4. Buy in-season Australian produce. Ask your fishmonger for help in choosing the correct seafood for your recipe.
  5. And of course, remember to follow any social distancing rules and only touch items you're purchasing.

How to tell if fish fillets are fresh

Flesh should have a vibrant translucent sheen and a sparkling colour, avoid pale or dry looking fillets
Flesh has a firm texture, not water-logged or squishy
No discolouration, bruising or gaping of the flesh
Pleasant and fresh sea smell

How to tell if a whole fish is fresh

Skin is bright and visually appealing with no bruising, appears shiny not dry
Eyes should be clear and plump, not sunken, opaque or discoloured
Firm flesh that springs back
Pleasant fresh sea smell
Vibrant and bright pink-red gills

How to tell if crustaceans and molluscs are fresh

For seafood such as prawns, crabs, mussels and clams, follow these key pointers.

Vibrant colour and lustrous shells or flesh
Shells, heads, tentacles or flesh appear firm and intact
Mussels and clams should have closed shells, or they should close when tapped
Pleasant fresh sea smell
No discolouration, this is especially important for prawn shells
Now you know what to look to for, you can confidently choose beautiful fresh seafood every time. Find out how to store and freeze your seafood here to keep it as fresh as possible. Click here to discover more easy seafood recipes.

Easy Fish Pie

Easy As Aussie Seafood Platter

Char-grilled Peach and Prawn Pad Thai Noodle Salad

Chilli, Lime & Peanut Salad with BBQ Prawns

Quick BBQ prawns with Garlic and Chilli

Green Thai Curry Salmon

Easy As Australian Lobster with Lemon and Tarragon Butter

Easy As Aussie Mussels with a Creamy Garlic Sauce

Easy As BBQ Aussie Prawns with Sriracha Mayo

Smoked Salmon and Dill Dutch Baby

Easy As BBQ Aussie Squid with Salsa Verde

White Fish Omelette

Teriyaki Salmon Soba Noodle Salad

Chilli Prawn Pizza

Easy As Pan Fried Australian Flathead with Lemon Yoghurt and salad