You know how important it is to eat seafood twice a week, but buying fresh fish and shellfish can seem daunting. You’ll find that it’s a lot easier if you remember a few simple rules.
When buying whole fish, look for bright, clear eyes. The eyes are the window to a truly fresh fish, because they quickly turn to a dull gray with age. The rest of a fish will also fade as it sits around, so look for vibrant flesh. If you’re considering a fillet that still has the skin on, that skin should look shiny, metallic and clean. Any dullness or discoloration is another sign of age.
Finally, a fresh fish should smell like clean water or just slightly briny, never fishy. Under no circumstances should you ever buy a nasty smelling fish — cooking can’t improve a fish past its prime.
As for shellfish, buy only at stores with rapid turnover so you can be assured of fresh mussels, clams, oysters and more. Their shells should be tightly closed. If slightly open, they should